Our Investment in Golden Ventures

Today, Golden Ventures is announcing the closing of their third fund, a CAD$72M vehicle. We are excited to have them join our group of Partner Funds and welcome our northern neighbors to the family. While the vast majority of our investments are in the United States, we’ve had long connections to the Canada startup community, with a particular connection to Toronto and Waterloo. Many of our companies have engineering offices in the area, going back to our investment in Zynga in 2007. Blackberry (then RIM) acquired Gist, another early Foundry Group investment. Techstars currently has two programs in Toronto. Brad’s co-author of Startup Opportunities is a professor at Ryerson College. And, we aren’t limited to Toronto, as we currently have an investment in Data Nerds based in Kelowna, BC. The Toronto / Waterloo region, which we like to call a binary star startup community (like Denver / Boulder), is strongly Continue reading "Our Investment in Golden Ventures"

Our investment in PSL Ventures

Today, Pioneer Square Labs announced the launch of PSL Ventures, a Seattle-based venture capital fund that invests in early-stage technology companies. The $80 million venture fund will invest in companies all over the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The fund will also participate in financings in spinouts of PSL’s affiliated startup studio. We are excited to back the team and have them as one of our Partner Funds. One of the key reasons we included a Partner Fund investment strategy in Foundry Group Next was to bring our friends closer while also supporting the next generation of outstanding VCs. We think of each partner fund, as well as each individual GP, as a partner in our extended network. Our investment in PSL Ventures serves as a great example of our Partner Fund strategy at work. Seattle has become an important market for Foundry Group. We have been investing Continue reading "Our investment in PSL Ventures"

Our Investment in K9 Ventures

We recently invested in K9 Ventures’ third fund, a $42M “pre-seed” fund with a strong focus on emerging technologies (more on the pre-seed naming convention in a minute). Manu Kumar, who runs the firm, did a nice job of talking about his fund and its strategy here. We are excited to formally partner with Manu and count K9 among our Partner Funds, as we’ve known and followed Manu for many years. My partner was a personal early investor in his initial 2009 fund, and I got to know Manu through UTIMCO’s exposure to K9 Fund II in 2012. We’ve been impressed watching Manu build K9 and were excited to see him launch The Kennel space. Manu may deserve credit (and perhaps blame) for coming up with the term “pre-seed.” He positions himself as a “frighteningly early” investor, and he lives up to that label, as he often invests Continue reading "Our Investment in K9 Ventures"

Our Investment in Founder Collective

We recently shared our thinking on fund investing with our post, “What does a Foundry Group Next fund investment look like?” We noted that we are largely driven by people and ecosystem. We want to continue laying out our thinking by talking about each of our fund investments. We’ll start with our most recent fund investment, Founder Collective, and walk backwards to catch up on what was a very active first year of investing for Foundry Group Next. Our recent investment in Founder Collective III, L.P. is a good example of our ecosystem thesis at work. We previously worked with the Founder Collective (“FC”) partners, David Frankel, Eric Paley, and Micah Rosenbloom through shared company and fund investments. We co-invested with them in MakerBot, Pantheon, and Formlabs, with many other shared opportunities along the way. It was easy for us to get excited about FC’s prior Continue reading "Our Investment in Founder Collective"

Our Investment in Founder Collective

We recently shared our thinking on fund investing with our post, “What does a Foundry Group Next fund investment look like?” We noted that we are largely driven by people and ecosystem. We want to continue laying out our thinking by talking about each of our fund investments. We’ll start with our most recent fund investment, Founder Collective, and walk backwards to catch up on what was a very active first year of investing for Foundry Group Next. Our recent investment in Founder Collective III, L.P. is a good example of our ecosystem thesis at work. We previously worked with the Founder Collective (“FC”) partners, David Frankel, Eric Paley, and Micah Rosenbloom through shared company and fund investments. We co-invested with them in MakerBot, Pantheon, and Formlabs, with many other shared opportunities along the way. It was easy for us to get excited about FC’s prior Continue reading "Our Investment in Founder Collective"

What Does a Foundry Group Next Fund Investment Look Like?

We recently shared an outline of what we’re looking for in a Foundry Group Next (“FG Next”) direct investment. Our FG Next strategy not only allows us to continue making direct investments in high-potential startups that fit within our themes, but also to scale up our ability to support venture firms and funds whose vision and values align with ours. Through this activity, we hope to spread the Foundry Group values and DNA further into the overall venture and startup ecosystem. Broadly, we’re looking for sub-$100 million funds that invest in early stage technology companies and are based in North America. We seek to identify and support the next generation of great venture fund managers. We think our partnership should mean more than just committing capital. We seek to serve as the “insider LP”, counseling new managers on the growth of their own platform and helping them work through and Continue reading "What Does a Foundry Group Next Fund Investment Look Like?"

What Does a Foundry Group Next Fund Investment Look Like?

We recently shared an outline of what we’re looking for in a Foundry Group Next (“FG Next”) direct investment. Our FG Next strategy not only allows us to continue making direct investments in high-potential startups that fit within our themes, but also to scale up our ability to support venture firms and funds whose vision and values align with ours. Through this activity, we hope to spread the Foundry Group values and DNA further into the overall venture and startup ecosystem. Broadly, we’re looking for sub-$100 million funds that invest in early stage technology companies and are based in North America. We seek to identify and support the next generation of great venture fund managers. We think our partnership should mean more than just committing capital. We seek to serve as the “insider LP”, counseling new managers on the growth of their own platform and helping them work through and Continue reading "What Does a Foundry Group Next Fund Investment Look Like?"

What Does a Foundry Group Next Fund Investment Look Like?

We recently shared an outline of what we’re looking for in a Foundry Group Next (“FG Next”) direct investment. Our FG Next strategy not only allows us to continue making direct investments in high-potential startups that fit within our themes, but also to scale up our ability to support venture firms and funds whose vision and values align with ours. Through this activity, we hope to spread the Foundry Group values and DNA further into the overall venture and startup ecosystem. Broadly, we’re looking for sub-$100 million funds that invest in early stage technology companies and are based in North America. We seek to identify and support the next generation of great venture fund managers. We think our partnership should mean more than just committing capital. We seek to serve as the “insider LP”, counseling new managers on the growth of their own platform and helping them work through and Continue reading "What Does a Foundry Group Next Fund Investment Look Like?"

What Does a Foundry Group Next Investment Look Like?

We always stop and consider whether a public posting makes sense whenever we repeatedly send something via email. This post comes from one of those moments. As we do more growth investments outside of our existing portfolio from Foundry Group Next (FGN), we are responding frequently with “thanks, but that doesn’t fit our strategy and what we are looking for.” So, in an effort to have something easy to point to publicly, we wanted to share an outline of what we’re looking for in an FGN investment. We are looking for companies raising growth rounds that fit within our Foundry Group themes. These themes are horizontal in nature, applying to many different markets, rather than being aimed at one specific vertical market. You’ll see us engage on infrastructure technology around protocols and software that glues the Internet together. We’ve done a lot in marketplaces and are not afraid of Continue reading "What Does a Foundry Group Next Investment Look Like?"

What Does a Foundry Group Next Investment Look Like?

We always stop and consider whether a public posting makes sense whenever we repeatedly send something via email. This post comes from one of those moments. As we do more growth investments outside of our existing portfolio from Foundry Group Next (FGN), we are responding frequently with “thanks, but that doesn’t fit our strategy and what we are looking for.” So, in an effort to have something easy to point to publicly, we wanted to share an outline of what we’re looking for in an FGN investment. We are looking for companies raising growth rounds that fit within our Foundry Group themes. These themes are horizontal in nature, applying to many different markets, rather than being aimed at one specific vertical market. You’ll see us engage on infrastructure technology around protocols and software that glues the Internet together. We’ve done a lot in marketplaces and are not afraid of Continue reading "What Does a Foundry Group Next Investment Look Like?"

Our Newest Fund – Foundry Group Next

We are happy to announce the closing of our sixth fund, Foundry Group Next. The $500 million fund is a continuation of our Foundry Group Select Fund approach but expands on our previous Select Fund strategy with the addition of two important components.

Foundry Group Select allowed us to make growth investments in the most successful companies from our early stage funds. Supporting these existing portfolio companies with meaningful capital in their scale-up phase provides flexibility to our companies and allows us to remain syndication agnostic in our investing.

Foundry Group Next continues this strategy but also gives us the ability to invest in growth stage companies outside of Foundry Group that fit within our thematic investing activities. Over the years, we have seen a meaningful number of attractive growth investments that we could not address given our early stage strategy and original Foundry Group Select strategy. By opening our Continue reading "Our Newest Fund – Foundry Group Next"