BACKGROUND: As mentioned before, I'm helping a smallish ($200mn) early stage VC in fundraising. Previously I'd had good success raising for a mega fund, but it goes to show how much product matters. Raising for a newish small fund is MUCH more difficult. I am going to chronicle the challenges, and am always open to advice as to how to do things better.
1) previously at the megafund going to conferences helped. They don't seem to help raising this smaller fund. We're not well known so LPs aren't being drawn to us. And hustling for meetings is quite difficult / painful. Going to conferences is expensive (entry tickets, flights, hotels) and the yield is too low.
2) the fund has been having more luck with emailing people on Linkedin and then trying to see if they can do informational interview with them. Emailing and asking "can you give me the lay of the land?" and having a conversation. But that's really tough because it's hard to broad the conversation (how do you know whom and how to hit up for money) and how does one frame the ask in a non-obnoxious and harmless way?