A Note to the OpenView Community During This Unprecedented Time

Unprecedented. That’s the word that everyone is using to describe what has unfolded in the US in the last two weeks, and on the planet more broadly in the last three months. The definition of the word is “never been done or known before,” and we are most certainly in uncharted territory.

While many of us have lived through financial crises of the past, this pandemic runs deeper than economic setbacks of recent decades. Our loved ones are at risk and the perpetrator, COVID-19, is an invisible threat with a very visible wake of chaos.

Our children are no longer attending their schools, with no return date in sight. Our hospital systems are overwhelmed and at capacity just days into this crisis. Citizens around the country are being ordered to stay home, leaving many without the ability to make money to support their families.

These are unprecedented times. But remember that you are going to get through this.

It’s during these times of uncertainty that we must band together to help each other get through the current and coming challenges.

As a Partnership at OpenView, we feel an immense responsibility to support those around us who are impacted: our employees, our portfolio companies, our investors, our community and Greater Boston.

Supporting our employees. There would be no OpenView without the great people on this page. Starting on March 13, we made it mandatory that all employees work from home to flatten the curve. We’ve developed a new communication rhythm through Zoom, Slack, email and calls to make sure that everyone is informed and aligned on our go-forward strategy.  During this time, we’re focused on continuing to drive toward our goals. But we’re also encouraging our managers to have grace with employees who may have challenging at-home situations. (I have three young children who are now home from school, so I apologize in advance for Zoom interviews that might look like this.) And we’re reminding our employees to take their own health—both mental and physical—very seriously.

Supporting our portfolio. Our Partners and team members are conducting broad outreach to our CEOs to offer guidance and support, and we’ve encouraged our portfolio companies to evaluate their financial strategies and make sure that they’re prepared in the face of a recession and sudden dip in revenue growth. Our Partnership is now sending a Weekly Financial Resources & Capital Markets Roundup to portfolio CEOs and CFOs, aggregating the best resources/best practices we’re observing with the goal of helping our portfolio leaders think through and plan for impacts to their financial and fundraising plans. We know that communication and connection are more valuable than ever during this time, so we’re organizing virtual roundtables and Slack groups for portfolio leadership to exchange ideas.

Supporting our investors. OpenView’s investors, many of which include endowments and pensions, are no doubt facing their own set of challenges in the crisis. We are updating our investors (Limited Partner, “LP”) on OpenView’s plan of action to ensure that they feel confident that their capital is being managed properly during this downturn and addressing their questions around the macro environment so that they are informed and can plan appropriately for their own organizations. Communication with our investors is so important to us that we are hiring for an Investor Relations and Capital Markets Manager to join our Capital Markets Team to make sure that we’re being as supportive and communicative as possible with our LP base.

Supporting the OpenView community. Our platform is a megaphone reaching 100,000 people in the tech community.  We plan to use our platform to continue to share materials that help entrepreneurs build great companies that improve people’s working lives. Our marketing team has pivoted its strategy in the last week to help teams navigate the new work-from-home strategy, and to help our CEOs prepare their businesses for the challenging coming weeks, months and quarters ahead. Here are some new content pieces that may be helpful to you or someone in your network:

Supporting Greater Boston. We know that local businesses and workers have seen immediate impacts from COVID-19. Our charitable donations focus on helping those most affected, including:

  • The Boston Foundation awards one-time operating grants on a rolling basis to nonprofits whose operations are in support of elders and vulnerable populations who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
  • Meals on Wheels delivers meals to individuals at home who are unable to purchase or prepare their own meals
  • No Kid Hungry provides healthy meals to these children in need. Almost 70k meals (and climbing) have been missed by children in need because of school closings due to COVID-19.
  • Pine Street COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund is the largest homeless service provider in New England. This fund provides continued assistance and rehabilitation of Boston’s homeless population during these difficult times.

We’ve encouraged members of the OpenView team to make donations to additional charities that matter to them, and we will match the donation amount.

In these unprecedented times, know that we’re all in this together. Business still goes on, and we’re committed to backing the next generation of software companies that improve people’s working lives.

We hope you’re staying healthy and staying connected to the people you love. And, most importantly, we hope you’re taking care of yourself. You will get through this.

Partner

Devon McDonald is a Partner at OpenView, where she sits on the firm’s investment committee and oversees OpenView’s Growth team, a group of Research, Sales and Marketing Strategists responsible for helping its portfolio companies acquire more customers and scale at an accelerated rate.
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