I get asked this question a lot.
Here's a short list
- They keep their promises--like taking their prorata and/or leading subsequent rounds
- They provide strategic value--introductions to other investors, potential clients and channel partners
- They keep their nose out of the operational side of your business--they focus on helping you define the right strategy for making your business successful
- They are not greedy--no one cent warrants in the funding rounds or 3X preferences
- They stay involved--available when needed, willing to dig in and help if necessary, always respectful of your time (no daily updates!)
It's tough providing this kind of assistance across a broad portfolio of investments, but the good ones manage. Don't be afraid to ask when interviewing investors about their philosophy of engagement.