How to lead effective Portfolio Review Meetings — for VCs

Belle Raab

What is a Portfolio Review Meeting in Venture Capital

A portfolio review meeting in the context of Venture Capital is a dedicated time for the investment and operational team members at an investment firm to align on recent updates across the portfolio. Other purposes of this meeting are to exchange cross-functional insights and coordinate the best ways to support portfolio companies.

Who typically leads Portfolio Review Meetings?

Portfolio review meetings can be led by anyone at the firm but since the meetings are largely focused on updates about portfolio companies, it is often led by the person responsible for collecting and synthesizing updates from portfolio companies on a regular basis. At a smaller firm, this person may be a Partner, and at a larger VC firm, this person often has the title of Platform Manager, Director of Portfolio Operations, or someone in finance. Ultimately, it should be led by someone with a wide-lens view of what is going on across the portfolio.

Related Resource –> Portfolio Data Collection Tips

Portfolio Review Meeting Frequency

According to a poll led by Visible, 50% of VC’s are hosting Portfolio Review Meetings on a quarterly basis, followed by 29% weekly, and 14% monthly.

The frequency of this meeting largely depends on the size of your portfolio company and how hands-on you are with your companies.

A quarterly frequency makes sense for most VC firms because 70% of investors are collecting structured data from their companies on a quarterly basis. (Source data is aggregated usage data on Visible’s portfolio monitoring platform used by 350+ VC funds).

Three Necessary Elements to Lead an Effective Portfolio Review Meeting

1) Up-to-date, accurate information from portfolio companies

Most investors are collecting 5-15 metrics from companies on a quarterly basis. These include core financial KPI’s and sector-specific metrics. Additionally, it’s common to ask for qualitative updates from companies as well to ensure you have a holistic view of how a company is performing.

Related Resource –> Which Metrics Should I be Collecting from My Portfolio Companies

2) Customizable visualizations to engage your team

Looking at just raw data points from companies can be, well…boring. To get more engagement during Portfolio Review Meetings it’s a great idea to create engaging visualizations that clearly demonstrate the growth journeys your companies are on. By displaying your data in a Flexible Portfolio Company Dashboard your team will be able to more clearly identify trends and insights.

To help your team digest the information about portfolio companies, it’s important to keep your data visualizations consistent for each company. Visible makes this easy by allowing you to save custom dashboards as templates and apply them to all companies in just a few clicks.

Learn more about creating flexible dashboards for portfolio review meetings in the video below.

3) A Place to Take Notes & Document Action Items

It’s a great idea to document meeting discussion notes and action items as soon as they arise during a meeting. Documenting action items on a company’s dashboard is a great way to keep team members accountable for execution because you can refer back to the notes during future meetings.

How Investors Are Leveraging Visible to Enhance Portfolio Review Meetings

VKAV’s Portfolio Company Dashboards

Verod-Kepple Africa Ventures (VKAV), a long-term Visible user, hosts a formal Portfolio Review Meeting on a quarterly basis. During this meeting, Portfolio Review Committee members join to review the performance of the portfolio companies during the quarter. Additionally, VKAV’s investment team holds an internal Portfolio Review Meeting every other week. Right now, the purpose of this meeting is mostly to check the status of action items (either for VKAV or the portfolio company). VKAV keeps track of open action items directly on a company’s dashboard in Visible so that it is linked to the broader context of how the company is performing.

View VKAV’s Portfolio Review Dashboard Example –> View Dashboard

01 Advisors Approach to Portfolio Review Meetings

01 Advisors a San Francisco-based venture firm utilizes Visible’s Request feature to streamline the way they collect data from companies on a quarterly basis. The team meets 1-2 times per quarter for an internal Portfolio Review meeting. Check out their meeting agenda outline below.

01 Advisors Portfolio Review Meeting Agenda

  1. Investment Strategy
  2. Portfolio Company Categorization
  3. Reserve Allocation Strategy
  4. Portfolio Company Support

Learn more about how 01 Advisors uses Visible for the internal portfolio review meetings in this video.