#12 Landscape: The Glassdoor For VC
It is very rare that I come across something which interested me in terms of business model, intentions, founder and industry... but here we are, Landscape, the Glassdoor for VC.
This week I was lucky enough to speak to Joe Perkins, Founder of Landscape, the Glassdoor of VC. This startup ties in brilliantly with the theme of this blog, as transparent reviews and ratings is a fantastic way to highlight great work done by VC firms, while also exposing the bad actors which could potentially be hindering diversity and progress within the space.
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Overview of Landscape
The Landscape platform enables founders to leave honest, authentic reviews about their interactions with VCs and accelerators, whilst maintaining their anonymity.
Our aim is to raise transparency in the startup funding ecosystem, removing bad actors, and celebrating brilliance. - Landscape on LinkedIn.
Pretty cool right? If you look at many of the problems present in the VC space from the founder’s point of view; lack of transparency, poor accessibility and lack of reviews from past interactions with firms (amongst many others), this platform pretty much solves all the problems.
Furthermore, it is clear there is a demand from both sides, as founders want these problems solved and VC firms are ever-scrambling to show that they are founder-friendly and tackling diversity problems within the space.
The Founder, Joe Perkins
Joe was a cool guy to speak to with an interesting background. He graduated from Bangor University with a degree in Computer Science, after butchering his A-Levels and picking the course through clearing because his mate that worked at Uber said he should.
Joe flexed his entrepreneurial abilities early-on, after being accepted onto the Ignite Accelerator program and raising money from Angel Investors (who included an early employee of WhatsApp and a Shazam founder) for his other startup Coursematch.
The idea for Landscape came when Joe got an invited by a VC firm to go down to London to discuss Coursematch. In total, the journey cost over £100 and the firm cancelled the appointment just before the meeting, leaving Joe stranded in London wishing there was some sort of feedback process to shine the light on such poor behaviour. Off the back of this trip, Landscape was born!
Landscape: 0 to 1
After bootstrapping Landscape completely no-code, the startup got some really early initial validation after gathering interest from TechCrunch, Business Insider and Sifted. Landscape is now closing in on 1000 founder reviews and 150 applications from VCs to be partners; highlighting the demand from both the supply and demand of early-stage venture funding.
Joe is currently working with 5 VC firms on a paid pilot to help develop Landscape’s SaaS custom dashboard which allows VC firms to analyse their reviews, giving them actional takeaways to improve their service. The takeaways are based on the 12 different score factors that founders give when completing their review.
Given that I live and breath the perspective of a founder, and have heard firsthand what VCs are focussing on at present through my Future VC experience, I can confidently say that Landscape has a huge amount of potential. It won’t be long until the startup starts making more headlines and I’m extremely interested to see how Joe develops the business model over time as user feedback shapes the platform.
Talking of the near future, if you liked the sound of Landscape and have experience within marketing, you could be the startups first hire! Landscape is hiring a marketing lead to take ownership of all of the startups marketing efforts, check out the role here and drop Joe a message to find out more.
First of all, I’d like to say thank you for Joe for giving up his time this week to speak to me, it was extremely interesting and I hope this is just the start of this connection. I wish him all the best with taking Landscape into the future!
On a final, separate note that I wanted to mention: it took me almost 3 months and several double & triple messages to get this chat with Joe over the line from the day he accepted my LinkedIn request… As a startup founder myself, I don’t at all blame Joe for this, as I know how hard it can be to find time in and amongst a busy schedule, especially when they’re requests from LinkedIn. But, my message I’d like to leave with my readers is that this shows that persistence and consistency is key to getting what you want in life, so don’t give up on something as success could be just around the corner.
Thank you for reading, please send me feedback and questions to any of the above social media platforms or email firstname.lastname@example.org