Deep Dive: The VC Platform Role

Max Fleitmann
Founder of VC Stack
Deep Dive: The VC Platform Role
Uma Patel
VC Content Creator

This deep dive was initially published in our VC Stack newsletter. Make sure to subscribe here to not miss any future episodes.

What is the VC Platform Role?

When we think about the makeup of a venture capital fund, the investors are often top of mind - along with their portfolio companies. However, many have described Platform to be the connective tissue between the two. VC Platform encompasses pre and post-investment activities, think everything outside of writing the checks. As you can imagine, this role can include many functions but when done right, is custom to the fund.

While some firms may focus on talent acquisition others may put a lot of their efforts into networking and community building. The “live by design, not by default” approach to Platform roles is what will ultimately make them valuable for an individual fund. The need for this value is becoming imperative as founders are no longer taking capital blindly. When asked about the necessity of Platform roles, Joshua Goodfield, Executive Director at VC Platform put it like this,

With more and more VCs popping up both fresh firms and veteran firms really need to differentiate themselves from others. We’re in a world where everyone is trying to write checks into promising companies and so firms are repositioning themselves in the fight for new deals on what their unique value propositions are.

Today, Platform is the fastest growing role in VC.

Moderate: up to 10% of the core team in the fund’s investment period in a Platform role.

Significant: 10% or more of the core team in the fund’s investment period in a Platform role.

  • 52.8% of venture firms have Moderate or Significant platform teams, double the proportion of firms that had Platform teams in 2000.
  • In 2022, one in eight core employees at a venture firm (13.1% of core team members) are focused on Platform, compared to one in sixteen (or 6.4%) in 2000.

Why Should Investors Hire for Platform?

  • Key Differentiator. Founders have more options than ever when it comes to capital. Now, VC funds also need a good pitch and a reason to convince a founder to join them. Your Platform is how you answer the question “What is my edge, and differentiator as a VC firm?”
  • New Perspectives. A Platform team is a perfect opportunity to bring on new perspectives to the fund. By recruiting individuals with diverse skill sets, it becomes possible to bridge any existing knowledge gaps. This becomes particularly valuable when the fund's investors share similar academic backgrounds.
  • Limited Bandwidth. While investors focus on deal sourcing and writing checks, Platform support can easily become a second thought. The role is expansive and requires a lot of conscious planning and deliberation. So, bringing on individuals that dedicate their time to fine-tuning the funds Platform means you can make sure you’re offering strong value add.
  • Performance Stats. The Power of Platform report analyzed 850 venture capital firms between 2000-2022 from team size, composition, and assets under management (AUM). One of the key findings was that firms with Significant Platform produce 1,100 basis point improvements in Net IRR and 0.5x TVPI compared to firms with No Platform in the last decade.

Functions of Platform: Pre & Post Investment

As mentioned, building out of a Platform team asks you to look across multiple pre and post-investment activities. Pre-investment activities could include marketing and branding for the fund, hosting events and workshops, or building fellowship programs. These initiatives are aimed at supporting deal flow and maintaining a positive public perception of the fund. Post-investment activities could range from talent acquisition, ESG, founder networking, and business development. On this side, the focus is on the portfolio companies and catering to their needs as they build.

For early-stage funds, a recommended strategy is to identify your core strengths and strive to outperform in those areas. For a later stage, Platform should transform into a team that can effectively navigate the entire VC value chain, adopting a holistic approach. While Platform roles have typically appealed to generalists, more funds are hiring Platform specialists with expertise in core areas. These areas include Marketing, Investment Operations, Talent, Business Development, Community, and ESG.

Where to Start: Building Platform

Allie Mullen is the Director of Platform at Wireframe Ventures and the only non-investor employee. As a team of one, she built the Platform function from the ground up. Here are some of her tips for getting started:

  1. Start with getting to know your firm, partners, and portfolio. Really understand what makes them great and differentiates them from other firms. It can be easy to get distracted by what other firms are doing, but by building a Platform strategy that inherently reflects what your firm does best, you will stand out.
  2. Ask the Partners what the firm’s goals are. There are always a million different things you could be doing, but you should align your priorities and time on things that will move the needle on the firm’s goals. The platform should not work in a silo but in conjunction with the team.
  3. Connect with other Platform teams of one to chat through what they’ve learned building our Platform. This can help you accelerate building out your strategy and get things off the ground.

VC Platform Strategy Matrix

If you’re just starting to build a Platform team or want to get a pulse on your current system, the VC Platform Strategy Matrix is a good place to start. The tool walks you through 10 major components of Platform and asks you to rate the level of development from 0 (None) to 4 (Dedicated & Validated). The final product is a visual representation of your fund's platform focus. Cory Bolotsky, Director at VC Platform and the creator of this tool makes a good point,

The expectation should not be for any firm to be strong across all ten of the components. Rather, most firms will identify two to five of the components that they want to focus on getting to Stage 3 or Stage 4, and will have a number of components that they want to keep at Stage 0 or Stage 1 — that is typical.
VC Platform Strategy Matrix

VC Funds with Platform Teams

At One Ventures

We back early-stage (Seed, Series A) companies that are using disruptive deep tech to upend the unit economics of established industries while dramatically reducing their planetary footprint. We also look for companies that are pioneering new industries that are actively regenerative to planetary health.

Eniac Ventures

We lead pre-seed & seed rounds in bold founders who use code to create transformational companies. Providing capital is just the first step, you get full access to the four general partners and the Eniac Platform.

NextView Ventures

Our mission at NextView is to invest in companies that use technology to drive a brighter collective future for everyday people. We lead pre-seed and seed stage rounds within our themes of the Everyday Economy.

Hyde Park Venture Partners

We’re an early-stage venture capital firm focused on high-growth, mid-continent technology startups. We seek companies with an exceptional founding team and fast-growth potential, looking to raise a first or second round of capital.

Company Ventures

Company Ventures is an NYC-based venture capital firm that invests in new technology-driven businesses at the earliest stages. We predominantly invest in digital health, fintech, and enterprise SaaS businesses at pre-seed, seed, and series A stages.


Breega propels pioneering and purpose-driven founders from an idea into impact. Crafted for founders by founders, we built Breega to provide start-ups with the help we wish we'd had. And we’ve created an investment proposition that’s purposefully designed.

Left Lane Capital

We partner with high-growth internet and consumer technology companies that are fundamental to the human condition and spirit. Through our specialization and data-driven approach, we move quickly and supercharge companies with actionable insights to unlock hyper-scale.

K50 Ventures

We invest in early-stage founders driving affordability and access for micro and small businesses and the mass consumer market. Our team of experienced investors and operators provides material support early while leveraging our platform and the carefully crafted, robust K50 community to source, diligence, and add value at scale.

Communities for VC Platform Professionals

VC Platform Global Community

The VC Platform Global Community is the largest dedicated group of venture capital platform professionals in the venture capital industry. Formed in 2013, our membership of peers has grown into a community of the world's best platform professionals who work to advance the industry while supporting individual career growth.

Let’s Talk Ops

Let's Talk Ops (LTO) is a community of first-class operators powering some of the most successful venture capital firms in the world. LTO is built for those in today’s more nascent and non-traditional venture capital roles, such as the Director of Operations, Head of Platform, Chief of Staff, Investor Relations, Marketing Director, Community Manager, etc.

Additional Readings

Interested in learning more about the VC Platform role? Check out these additional readings!