Apr 28, 2017 On Our Blog

A Tale of Two Squirrels: The Not So Simple Math on Venture Portfolio Size

By now most VCs are familiar with Dave McClure’s theory of venture portfolio size. In short, he believes that at seed stage, it doesn’t make sense to have a fund with fewer than 50-100 companies, because venture returns depend on outliers and you need a big enough portfolio to consistently capture them. In the post, he outlines a range of typical outcomes for a large portfolio of seed-stage investments. You can see some variation of this trend in most published venture returns data such as Crunchbase or PitchBook. These are large ranges (because there’s a lot of randomness in startups), and depending on where you end up in these ranges, you could make or lose a lot of money. Most investors prefer a …