Advanced Equities: the name sounds harmless enough. But to some VCs it means, "Uhh. Maybe I won't pick up the phone."
The firm tends to specialize in raising late stage funds for companies that have been in startup mode for a while. It is currently helping Bloom Energy raise a sixth round of $150 million. Greentech is tough and often requires a lot of capital. Advanced often works with Kleiner, Perkins.
But some VCs in the Valley have told me they tend to be skeptical when the company calls. There is a theory -- whether true or not, I do not know -- that the Advanced deals are really aimed more at getting high-net worth individuals to invest in these late rounds than VCs. Here's an article with more
Again, it's just a theory. I could have a small sample. It could be a natural aversion to sales calls. The company has also clearly participated in important deals. I've tried to get in touch with Advanced but they have a phone tree that's about as helpful and informative as a bodyguard at a celebrity wedding. But the VCs I've talked to about the firm have told me that their first reaction when it comes to an Advanced deal is to approach with caution. In fact, the VCs tend to be the ones that bring up the company's involvement in a deal as a relevant point.