In two-thirds of our investments to date, we were the first institutional investor (after friends and family). From a financial perspective, this gives us maximum leverage, by investing before subsequent investors drive up the price. Equally important, from an operational perspective, our early relationship with the company means we build a position of strong influence with company founders and management.
We normally exercise this position through a board seat. In over 80% of our investments, we have had one or more board seats in the portfolio company. Particularly in smaller companies, our history confirms that our influence over strategy and operations can significantly improve a companys performance.