Don't you hate it when your friends set you up and all they can say about your blind date is that he's / she's "nice". Your mind races. Is he / she a total sea donkey? A buffoon? Should you bring the pepper spray?
Imagine what venture capitalists think when their brother-in-law invites them down to the Starbucks to meet yet another friend / entrepreneur.
Hong Kong-based Grow VC just launched a midnight beta to help triage the dealmaking system. The company is a dating-style site where investors and early-stage companies meet and marry online. Grow aims to be the premier social network for early stage investments" between $10,000 to $1 million dollars USD, and for most investment groups that's a fairly cheap date.
At first glance, Grow VC appears to be a subscription-model hybrid between TheFunded and vator.tv. Like vator.tv, Grow VC allows companies to showcase and market themselves to encourage partnerships with investment firms, angels and seed funds. Meanwhile, similar to TheFunded, the site allows members to rate companies and investments groups. It will be interesting to see how Grow executes on the voting mechanism.
One of the biggest complaints about TheFunded is that the site becomes a place for embittered founders to anonymously vent against VCs. Often these are the same VCs who've passed on investing in the ranter's company. For Grow, anonymity may be the only way an entrepreneur would risk commenting candidly on a bad experience; however, if the community is left unregulated, it might set an abusive tone. As the supreme matchmaker, Grow will have to walk a delicate balance.
As for monetization, upon official launch in the Fall of 2009, Grow will charge both founders and funders $150 + for access to the community. Fifty RWW readers can use the RWW50 promotional code on the Grow site and check it out for free. You can also request an invite directly from the company.
Let us know your initial thoughts in the comments below. And, if you do manage to get hitched to a like-minded business investor, we'd like an invite to the reception.