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Novak Biddle Venture Partners' PV Boccasam, like many venture capitalists, is a fan of the animal metaphor in ranking portfolio companies.
You have your tigers, akin to the "rocket ships" or "hockey sticks." Those are the successful ones the venture capitalist doesn't bother. Then there are the monkeys, which "are a little bit more bothersome, and you pay a little bit more attention to them," Boccasam said. Dogs — of course, every VC portfolio has (at least) a few dogs — that get sold off or written off.