The evolving role of Venture Capitalists
History of Venture capital and its evolving role.
The story of Venture capital dates back to 1300 AD. Maritime expeditions could be considered the primitive form of venture capitalism. Just as navigators & explorers were the most adventurous entrepreneurs of their time, shipowners were the first venture capitalists in economic history. One such example is that of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella of Spain who financed his venture and eventually made Spain wealthy by accidentally discovering America.
For years, VC industry was about providing resources and mostly capital to new and exciting ventures. Such as providing ship and crew members to the explorer for finding new trade routes. 
However, in the documented history the first venture capital firms started in the mid-1900s by the first “self-proclaimed” Venture capitalist Georges Doriot, a Frenchman who moved to the U.S. and founded what would be the first publicly owned venture capital firm, American Research, and Development Corporation (ARDC).
ARDC enabled start-ups that could raise money from private sources other than from wealthy families. For a long time in the U.S., wealthy families such as the Rockefellers or Vanderbilts were the ones to fund start-ups or provide capital for growth. 
The new Paradigm of venturing investing –
VC’s primary value add is the cash they are investing in. However, the role of VC has changed in recent times.
Over a period of almost 6 decades, the working dynamics of these firms (VCs) would change dramatically. These firms are now run by people who have founded, worked or invested in start-ups previously.
Being in Silicon Valley for a long time enables a VC to create a robust network of stakeholders. For example, if you have invested in Cisco, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple you would have met, worked, collaborated and maybe at some point in time even advised people who are now associated with success. Such kind of networks and connections to industry experts are now been leveraged by VCs and bundled in a deal to be offered as platform service so that the new-born CEOs and founders can move fast and break things faster.  
Additional areas in which a VC can help include: recruiting, strategy, partner introductions, customer introductions, additional fundraising, and generally being a good sounding board and source of advice and industry knowledge.
Platform and recruiting –
Making the right hire can fundamentally change the trajectory of a company. If a VC can help companies get access to the top tier of talent, that is an enormous and tangible impact.
As the venture capital world becomes more competitive and VCs look for new ways to support founders and win deals, firms will continue to invest in Platform and add headcount in this area.
Some studies suggest that replacing an employee costs about 15 times that employee’s base salary—so by holding onto their best employees, start-ups can avoid the cost of high turnover and funnel that capital elsewhere. Perhaps more importantly, it saves them a tremendous amount of time in hiring and onboarding new employees. Start-ups are running at such high growth velocities that finding ways to keep them from slowing down is one of the most valuable things investors can do.
Helping portfolio companies hire the best talent is not valuable, but it can be difficult to scale across a large or wide portfolio since venture funds aren’t necessarily set up to recruit at scale any better than a great recruiting firm or the start-up itself.
How to Optimize the scaling machine?
Offering platform services has been one way that VCs have sought to enhance their reputation and enact positive influence upon their investments outside of the boardroom. A typical play is to have an in-house expert on hand to assist portfolio companies with activities such as human resources and marketing.
For large funds, such as a16z, this proves to be an asset, reinforcing their quality of investment monitoring and access to deal flow. For smaller VCs, allocating the budget could be challenging.
With capital supply sources more varied, outside of strong governance skills, platform services are one of the key differentiators’ VCs can offer start-ups. 
Building out a wider and leaner reach of platform services into the entire ecosystem is one way for funds to broaden their network, reputation, and chances of success. This doesn’t have to come in the form of headcount, but simply more outreach and effort in the indirect channels that affect the fortunes of the portfolio. Some of the platform services could be Branding, Marketing, Accounting services, Compliance, Product design or niche services such as data research.
The platform doesn’t necessarily have to be directly provided by the fund but it could be outsourced to a specialist firm in that space who could also manage and control the outcome and thus, enabling the VC to focus on wider market initiatives.
Despite middling returns, venture capital remains a glamorous industry. For many, it offers the intersection of financial deal-making with the ability to make tangible and positive interventions post-investment. If we succeed in the current paradigm shift, future venture capitalists will be very different from today’s venture capitalists, just as traders at today’s Goldman Sachs are different from the old investment bankers of the 1950s.