Want to get the inside scoop on how Wing makes investment decisions, what the partners are thinking about the next big supercycle in B2B technology, and how the firm helps founder and portfolio companies?
Now’s your chance.
Wing founder partner Peter Wagner sat down with Nick Moran for an interview on The Full Ratchet, a podcast about demystifying venture capital. Though the episode revolved around Peter’s lessons from seed investing in Snowflake and Gong, the conversation ended up a masterclass in investment philosophy.
In this blog, we’re sharing some of the best insights from the interview so you can get an idea of how Wing invests — and how our team is working hard to anticipate upcoming trends in the tech industry.
How Wing invests: The key factors
Putting money behind early-stage B2B companies
When asked to give an overview of Wing’s stage sector investment approach, Peter said, “Wing is a pure play around early-stage investing in long-term company building in B2B technology.”
Of all the investments Wing has made over the past 10 years, only around five have had more than a million in annual recurring revenue (ARR). The vast majority have no product in the market, or they’ve very recently launched and have brought in a few hundred thousand in ARR.
Our firm is very focused on working with early-stage companies, and typically leads Seed and Series A financing rounds, so we can focus on long-term growth with founders. Wing believes that every company we invest in has the potential to be an independent public company of enduring value.
Looking for product-market fit
Because many of the companies Wing is evaluating are in the pre-commercialization phase, our firm’s partners often need alternative ways of assessing them.
If companies don’t have a product in the market — or the product is just barely in the market — many of the typical quantitative go-to-market metrics haven’t emerged yet. As Peter put it:
“We have to do a very different type of strategic analysis around technology and markets, and the potential for dislocation and disruption in those markets. And one of the reasons we focus on B2B is because we think that there's more predictability in the buyer behavior, in where the buyer is in their work life, or as a business, than in consumer spaces. It's almost a fool's errand to try and predict consumer behavior. So you can be very analytical in trying to anticipate things like product-market fit, if you've done it for a while, if you focused in domains and have the right networks and resources around you. And that does make it sort of safe for pre-adoption, or pre-metrics investing.”
Wing also looks for companies that have the potential for high product-market fit. Our firm has a large customer network of leading decision-makers, buyers, implementers and thought leaders across customer segments. These are the people who are the most relevant in adopting the products that the Wing portfolio produces.
During and after investment decisions, the team taps into this network to figure out product-market fit. Internally, we call this process the “market validation machine.”
Laser focus on AI
For almost all of Wing’s history, the team has been working on what they call the AI-first transformation of business.
This goes beyond investing in large language models. It means focusing on the technologies that support AI, and the applications that put it to work. Our team has regular conversations about supporting businesses that use AI to drive better results and better outcomes.
Wing also looks for companies that have an important, defendable layer in the AI stack, rather than a property of an adjacent layer that will soon be subsumed by other companies.
In many cases, a significant part of a technology company’s success depends on capturing developer interest. Developers shape the direction in which tech evolves, and predicting their behavior is incredibly challenging. The ebbs and flows in developer interest can create or obliterate opportunities at breakneck speed.
Wing VC's value proposition for portfolio companies
Networks, built over decades, are at the core of Wing VC's value proposition. Because startups are often relatively new entities, they might lack the breadth of relationships and the deep trust that comes with time. To help founders in the portfolio, Wing provides:
An extensive customer network: As mentioned above, Wing VC has cultivated a large customer network. This group isn't just restricted to CIOs — it includes people who are integral to specific buying decisions. Tapping into this network allows startups to refine their product-market fit through accelerated feedback cycles.
A flexible talent network: Wing develops relationships with talented individuals with a wide range of skills, even if they don’t have a specific opportunity in mind at that moment. This ensures that when a portfolio company needs leadership or expertise, there's already an existing relationship to tap into.
A wide-ranging media network: Startups can use Wing’s established relationships with journalists, influencers and other significant voices in the industry to gain visibility and credibility in competitive markets.
By working with our portfolio companies and helping them leverage these networks, Wing can ensure founders are well-positioned to capitalize on opportunities.
How Wing empowers B2B startups
Wing VC offers more than just funding — we deliver insights, valuable relationships and a solid strategy to help B2B startups thrive.
By focusing on AI and helping our portcos reach their goals, Wing has become a trusted early-stage investor and long-term company-builder.
Interested in learning more about how we evaluate potential investments? Read more about our AI-first investment approach