“Bloomberg Beta is an early-stage venture fund backed by Bloomberg that invests in startups making work better, focusing on machine learning.”
We recently stumbled upon the “Bloomberg Beta Operating Manual.” The team originally started building the operating manual for internal use but ended up making the it available to the public. The manual is full of interesting tidbits not just about Bloomberg Beta but early stage company building and investing in general.
One of our favorite sections was their detailed preferences for investor communication. We turned their template into a Visible Update Template that you can find below. To learn more about our favorite takeaways from the Bloomberg Beta Operating Manual keep reading.
For any founders out there interested in pitching and/or raising from Bloomberg Beta it is an absolute must to check out their manual. The manual can basically be treated as a step-by-step guide for finding, pitching, and raising from the team at Bloomberg Beta. (It would be awesome to see more funds take this approach).
What Bloomberg Looks for in an Investment
The “What We Look for in a Startup” section is full of interesting information and you can quickly determine if Bloomberg Beta is a fit for your company. For example, “We strongly prefer to be the first money into a company, and to invest as early in the startup’s life as possible. If a startup incorporates itself to take money from us, that’s great.” They go on to say that this does not mean they have to be the leader investor. All great to know stuff when getting ready to tailor a pitch. A couple of other key takeaways if you’re considering Bloomberg Beta:
- On the founders — “We look for a reason to believe a founding team is extraordinary. Not that they have the perfect skills or experiences to match the business they want to build (which is where the “team” slide in the deck tends to focus), but that they have the capacity for greatness.”
- On the products — “We prefer to see products that are intensely successful in some initial market, over products that grow to large numbers but don’t play an important role in the lives of their users.”
- On stage — “We strongly prefer to be the first money into a company, and to invest as early in the startup’s life as possible. If a startup incorporates itself to take money from us, that’s great. Should you call us if you have yet to even start a company? YES.”
- On location — “Startups depend on trust, and it’s hard to build trust without spending time together in person. That means San Francisco and New York since our team is in both of those cities.”
- On deal sourcing — “We find investments in many ways, but our favorite is for founders we have already backed to refer other founders.”
- On investment themes — “Our focus is investing in startups that improve work — and knowledge work in particular.”
This is just scratching the service of the important information in the manual. They go on to share what they look for in a deck, what questions they may ask, how long the process takes, and more. They even detail how they’ll support founders after they raise capital.
For founders, a quick read of the manual and you’ll know whether or not Bloomberg is a fit for your company. For Bloomberg, the quality and relevance deal flow can only improve by having their thoughts shared with founders and the public. The transparent and straightforward approach by Bloomberg is awesome and would great to see across the industry.
If you know of any investors with a public “manual,” we’d love to check it out! Feel free to send us a message to marketing at visible dot vc.
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Bloomberg Beta Investor Update Template.