The More Time Investors Spend with You, the Less Likely They Are to Invest


When it was time for our A round, I made a list of the top investors I wanted to raise from. You can imagine how happy I was when a meeting with the top firm on my list went extremely well. The partner and I hit it off, and he seemed to love the company and really want to work with us.

The first meeting led to another meeting, then another, and another, and dinner, and another dinner. All in a three-week period. I was running a process with ten other VCs and spending a disproportionate amount of time with this one. I thought it was a good thing, but I was wrong. I fell into the “friend zone” trap. You won’t be surprised to hear that they didn’t invest (but we remained good friends).

Looking back at all of our fundraisings, this situation happens every round with at least one investor. My conclusion is that the more time investors spend with you, the less likely they are to invest.

Don’t get stuck in the “friend zone”

You might think it’s because they discovered something that made them not invest, but that’s not the case. I have learned that they genuinely like you or the company and really want to work with you. But they don’t have enough conviction to invest, so spend more and more time, hoping that more information will help them get there. The sad truth is that they never will. I call this the “friend zone.” You have an investor that really likes you but will never make the move.

All the investors that ended up presenting a term sheet had a strong conviction from the beginning and ran a fast process. They did not waste time asking for another meeting one after the other. They did not waste time trying to answer questions that had no answer. They wanted to invest and they acted like it.

Next time you’re fundraising and have an investor that wants to spend disproportionate time with you compared to others, ask yourself if it’s worth it and if they will actually invest, or if you’re wasting your valuable time.

The best advice on this I got was from one of our investors. There was a VC that I really wanted as an investor, so I fell into the “friend zone” with the hopes that this time it would be different. When I spoke to our investor about it he said, “Liran, if they wanted to invest, they would have invested.” So true!




CEO of BenchSci, husband, father and constant work in progress

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Ring Founder Jamie Siminoff’s journey from Shark Tank to… Shark Tank

Meet Zach Akre |

Harlem Capital Answers Your Top Questions About Fundraising During a Pandemic

So many times I have been faced with a number of requests from young people seeking to turn their…

Startup investors shouldn’t be worshipped

VC/Unpacked: Fundamentally VC

Building Big Things and Moving Fast — Allison Barr Allen, Co-Founder/COO at Fast

Thrive+®: A Testament to The Success of Princeton’s Recent Entrepreneurial Initiatives

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Liran Belenzon

Liran Belenzon

CEO of BenchSci, husband, father and constant work in progress

More from Medium

The 82 Startup, Venture Capital and Fundraising Terms Every Founder and Investor Should Know

Founder Relationships

Staring Down the Abyss: the Reality of Entrepreneurship

Is Disruption Dead? Startups Embrace A More Cooperative Approach

Masterplans looks at startups and the theory of dissruptive innovation