CEO's Report (2021Q1)
Six months. As of today, All Places has been in business for six months. As I recently said to a friend of mine, it feels like we just started and, at the same time, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Here is the second quarter of our All Places life in a nutshell.
Let’s start with what’s most important, the reason we are in business and the reason we are, well, staying in business: our clients. We work with founders and each time a founder chooses All Places to advise their company, we recognize the gravity of that decision. They are trusting us with something that is deeply precious to them and we are mindful of that with every project we handle. Some stats:
- Founders first. 95% of our clients are founder-led companies and the people I get to speak to each day are the founders themselves. I can’t believe how lucky I am.
- Asset managers. Just over half of our clients are managing pools of capital and 40% of those are raising their first fund. We continue to have representation in just about every asset class with an 80/20 split between private and public market investors.
- Entrepreneurs. It is incredible (and incredibly fun) working with founders in a number of different industries, and that’s not just because we use all their products! 50% of our entrepreneurs are pre-launch.
- Have we met? 55% of our clients hired us without ever meeting us in person. It just goes to show that there are many ways of generating trust: referrals, authentic video conversations, and a web presence that is unambiguous about who All Places is and what matters to us.
- Client meeting! Last week I had my first in-person client meeting since launching All Places. It was outside, at Washington Square Park, sitting six feet apart. But it was so incredible to again feel that energy of working with someone in my physical space. I can’t believe we used to do this all the time—it’s so amazing!
- Pandemic what? It has amazed me how many women have started new businesses and launched new funds during the last six months. Courageous? Brilliant? Insane? Yes, all of the above. While each of us has been impacted by the pandemic, connecting each day with people who are constantly creating lifts me up.
One thing about events: they take a lot of time. One other thing about events: they are awesome. Throughout these first six months we have been hosting events for female managers and each one has been inspiring (even on days when I felt like nothing could inspire me). Last month we hosted our first larger group event and it was so energizing. Three brave women volunteered to be on the hot seat, raised issues they were struggling with, and received guidance from an audience of fifteen women who had launched their own funds. Talk about a killer advisory board. This month we will have two other firsts: our first event for women entrepreneurs (starting with food and beverage) and our first joint event (with woman-owned private equity firm Turning Rock Partners). May brings a joint event with Pitchbook and a guest appearance at Sophia Amoruso’s Business Class, a virtual boot camp for women entrepreneurs led by the founder of Nasty Gal herself. See previous comment re how lucky I am.
Every two weeks I write up a blogpost and send an email out to all of you. As anyone else who has done this knows, it’s hard every time. You feel like you are offering yourself up (in word format) to hundreds and hundreds of people. Terrifying! But I keep doing it because many of you have been kind enough to send me notes telling me how much a post has landed for you and each time I write it gets a little easier. It has also helped that Shopify (which hosts our website) informed us that each of our last three posts were in the 10% of all posts read on all Shopify websites. What?!?! Us? Seriously? Also, in the first quarter of 2021, over two thousand people visited the All Places website. I know. I’m sure Shopify is lying to me.
Each week of an entrepreneur’s life comes with a new struggle and that has been no different for us. One thing that has been incredibly helpful to me is defaulting back to phone calls. There are certainly times when being on video has real value, but for the most part I feel more engaged and more focused when I’m not busy staring at myself (what is my hair doing? where am I looking? am I sure I turned on the face filter?) on a computer screen.
I am so grateful for each of you, for being our clients, for continuing to connect us to other amazing women (and men) who want to work with us, and for caring about All Places. Someday we’ll host a real live party to celebrate all of you, and to celebrate being able to celebrate again!