How we organized 300+ meetings between investors and Quona’s global portfolio in just one day
By Kristin Sadler
In September in San Francisco, Quona hosted our first-ever Investor Day, designed to reconnect marquee debt and equity investors with category-leading fintechs from across the globe. Quona has 60+ fintech investments in emerging markets including Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and MENA, and Investor Day marked the first time that we convened the portfolio to meet with global investors in the U.S.
The setup? Seven to nine 20-minute, one-on-one curated investor meetings — double opt in for each Quona portfolio company and a select group of investors. We interspersed the one-on-ones with a couple of networking breaks scattered throughout, followed by a reception to provide opportunity for additional last minute meet-ups.
Imagine it as something akin to speed dating between investors and startups.
The intent? To connect global investors with fintech category leaders in enormous, under-penetrated emerging markets and provide Quona’s portfolio founders access to marquee investors as they scale.
This was no easy feat to organize, but the results speak for themselves:
- 70+ investors from nearly 50 global and regional firms in attendance alongside 60+ founders from 40 Quona portfolio companies
- 300+ pre-scheduled, curated meetings between investors and Quona portfolio companies, arranged according to preferences and priorities on both sides
- A stellar investor NPS of 87, with strong demand from both founders and investors that we organize similar events in the future
Here are three key takeaways from this successful inaugural event, and a few questions we’re asking ourselves as we begin to plan for the next one:
- The opportunity to meet and learn from companies from across the globe — emerging markets in particular — in a single afternoon was invaluable for investors.
- While markets such as Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia are on the radars of some global investors, they might not be traveling to, say, Indonesia regularly. And making that trip to connect with only one or two companies might be time- and cost-prohibitive for some investors.
- Given the global spread of our emerging markets portfolio and the newness of these markets to many investors, it proved to be a huge benefit to investors to meet a huge swath of companies over the course of an afternoon. We received very positive feedback on the quality, depth and breadth of the Quona portfolio (which includes 13 markets) as well as on the founders in attendance.
2. The curated meetings were very effective, and people also want more time to network.
- Each investor and portfolio company had a unique, curated schedule of 20-min meetings throughout the afternoon, and we received great feedback on the relevance/usefulness of the meetings (rated 9 out of 10 for investors; 8.6 out of 10 for companies).
- The unanimous consensus was that 20 minutes was the perfect amount of time for an initial meeting.
- While we did include networking breaks and a reception, investors indicated that they’d like more time to meet companies that were not included in their meeting schedule, and vice versa.
3. Investor Day was a great catalyst for relationship building between portfolio companies and investors; many companies have developed strong relationships with potential lead investors as a result of this event.
- Months after Investor Day, investors continue to reach out to be connected to portfolio companies they didn’t have a chance to meet in San Francisco in September. What’s more, a handful of our portfolio companies have remained in conversations with debt or equity investors they met during the event.
- Even more have stayed in contact for future fundraising efforts, which is awesome news all around. Many founders now have working relationships with people who can be involved in either debt or equity fundraising. So when they kick off their next fundraise, they’ll have warm leads on potential lead investors — more than they would’ve before. Pretty huge, right?
As we look ahead to 2023 and future events, here’s what’s on our mind:
- Investors and companies prefer a balance of structure and networking time.
- No doubt, the structured one-on-one meet and greets were a huge hit. Sure, we ended up putting together more than 300 unique meetings across the investors and companies in attendance. Was it a lot of work? You bet! Would we do it all over again? In a heartbeat.
- It would be beneficial for investors and companies to have more time to informally get to know each other. But it’s a delicate balance between having “just enough” time for casual networking, and too much time. We’ll navigate this carefully.
2. There is strong demand for a range of investor-related events.
Quona’s inaugural Investor Day was such a hit that we’re doubling down on these gatherings to connect our global fintech companies and networks of investors. While our next Global Investor Day — and adjoining Founders Summit — is slated for Q1 2024 in Silicon Valley, we are also planning a suite of smaller-scale, curated Investor Meetups with Quona portfolio companies across the globe in 2023. These intimate, invite-only breakfasts, happy hours, and more will be happening in each of our markets next year.
Want to be on the invite list for Quona’s future Investor Days or our regional investor meet-ups? Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re eager to build on the success of our 2022 Investor Day and expand our community of emerging market fintech enthusiasts!