Doing deals through Zoom? These investors have some tips

“It’s not like I go to an event and I meet with people in my network. It’s more like, I saw a really cool post on ProductHunt and it doesn’t matter who did it, I just want to talk to the person who built it.”

Investors are turning to remote-only meetings to combat COVID-19, which was officially declared a pandemic yesterday.

The novel coronavirus is already spreading via community contact in the Bay Area; an employee of South Park Cafe, a popular hub for techies and venture capitalists run by the credit card startup Brex, tested positive this week. The spot is a few hundred feet from a number of high-profile venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins.

But for many remote-friendly venture capitalists, making deals remotely is business as usual. We caught up with a few investors to learn how they make virtual dealmaking work for them, including its impact on their deal flow and portfolio diversity.

Founding partner of the W Fund Kate Brodock warned investors to not “devalue the process.”

“In-person is always ideal, but video still allows you to get a close-to-complete sense of the person in front of you — everything from facial expressions to body language to how they organize their desk,” Brodock said. “Making meaningful and informative connections through video is entirely possible.”

Turner Novak, a general partner at Gelt VC, has opted for a remote-friendly investment cadence since day one. He invests out of Ann Arbor, Mich.

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