“If you do something really great VCs will swarm you”: AirTree Ventures’ Paul Bennetts


Geography and warm introductions don’t make a difference to AirTree Ventures investment director Paul Bennetts, he says if you’ve got a great startup idea, he’ll jump on the next plane to meet you.


Bennetts took part in an Ask Me Anything on Product Hoist where he fielded all sorts of questions from entrepreneurs.


He played down the idea that founders should get an introduction to venture capitalists they would like to pitch to.


“Do something great. It’s that easy or hard. If you do something really great VCs will swarm you. And then it won’t matter how to get in front of them – social media (that will work), camp outside your office (that will work), use a PR person (that will work) or a mutual connection (that will work),” he says.


“I would play down this idea of needing an introduction. I didn’t need an introduction to meet my wife-to-be so why would a VC need one for an investment? If a young Einstein wants to meet me – firstly I count my lucky stars and secondly he can reach out anyway he wants.”


AirTree Ventures has a $60 million fund that focuses on seed and growth stage investments. Over the past year or so the firm has invested in online furniture marketplace Brosa, rostering software startup Ento, pet-sitting marketplace PawShake, graphic design startups Design Crowd and Canva, and designer fashion rental startup GlamCorner.


“We don’t subscribe to a sector focus,” Bennetts says.


“We’re just looking for amazing Australian teams building tech enabled businesses. That’s the best part of my job – I have no idea what’s going to cross my desk next.”


To check out the full AMA, which includes Bennetts’ thoughts on what types of startups his cat would invest in, head over to Product Hoist.


Want to grow your business with Instagram? StartupSmart School can help.