The questions LPs can ask for due diligence on diversity and inclusion in VC

It is widely recognized that improving diversity and inclusion in the venture capital and private equity industries is the right thing to do. Not only that, but there is strong evidence that increasing diversity will lead to better returns, increased talent retention and more creativity.

Diversity VC has put together a list of questions which Limited Partners can use to ask GPs at venture funds questions during the due diligence process to better understand their approach to diversity and inclusion. The first set of questions is taken from the ILPA guidance, the second has been compiled by Diversity VC in discussions with GPs and LPs in Europe and the US.

If you would like to add any questions, or if you have any comments, please email check@diversity.vc.

Guidelines for VCs Establishing Reporting Contacts

In this article, Ginny Fahs (#MovingForward) & Y-vonne Hutchinson, (ReadySet & Project Include founding advisor) outline strategies for VC firms to establish meaningful misconduct reporting processes.

A survivor of harassment or discrimination by a VC firm employee decides to formally report their experience. Who do they reach out to? And what happens next?

Historically, VC firms have not provided formal roadmaps for reporting, and entrepreneurs facing harassment or discrimination have had had two options: keep quiet or tell a reporter, options that are both unfavorable to founders and VCs alike.

A better solution for VC firms is to proactively assign a formal reporting contact, and to design internal mechanisms by which entrepreneurs can report incidents to the firm directly. This article provides actionable guidance on the qualities of a good reporting contact, the ways to set the reporting contact up for success, and best practices for putting reporting contacts in place at VC firms.

Roadmap to Diversity and Inclusion

In this introductory article, Ellen Pao provides guidance on how startups should set targets for their diversity and inclusion effort. Pao lays out a “10–10–5–45” strategy – four diversity and inclusion targets across race and gender that startups should aim to accomplish within 2 years.

Guidelines for VCs Writing Discrimination & Harassment Policies

In this article, Ginny Fahs (#MovingForward) and Freada Kapor Klein (Kapor Capital & founding advisor at Project Include) provide actionable guidance for VCs and VC firms seeking to develop or improve their harassment and discrimination policies.

16 Definitions on the Economics of VC

In this accessible, introductory article, Andreesen Horowitz managing partner Scott Kupor lays out the basic mechanics of venture capital funds. This article covers what type of institutions generally serve as Limited Partners (LPs), what the relationship between funds and LPs looks like, the way funds are structured, and the process by which they’re executed.

A Brief History of the World (of Venture Capital)

In this long-form article, Nicolas Colin traces the history of modern day venture capital.

The article starts out with the development of two elements necessary to equity investment: reliable information systems and limited liability. From there, Colin traces the history of VC through US military investment into technology research during WW2, the subsequent professionalization of private equity as an asset class, and the explosion of VC as an industry in the late 70’s following the reconfiguration of the federal “prudent man rule.”

This article provides an excellent summary of the industry’s rich history, and concludes with resources for deeper exploration.

10,000+

high-growth startups—across all 50 states and DC—raised venture funding in 2019 to build and grow their businesses.

42%

of all U.S. IPOs from 1974 to 2015 were venture-backed companies, representing 63% of the market capitalization and 85% of R&D.

2.9 million

is the average net jobs created annually between 1980 and 2010 by high-growth startups, which account for ~50% of gross jobs created in the U.S.

1,300+

U.S. venture firms are active today, managing an aggregate of $444 billion in assets.