We’re entrepreneurs too.
We know what it’s like to be up at 3 am obsessed with an idea. We’ve been operating and investing in early-stage companies for almost 20 years (yes, we’re getting old). We use everything we’ve learned, everyone we know, every resource at our disposal and our well-earned startup “spidey senses” to help the amazing entrepreneurs build tomorrow’s great companies.
In a nutshell
STAGE FOCUS: Through two separate funds we can invest early or at the growth stage. For early stage companies it seems like the name of the round has changed over the years but when we like to invest has stayed constant - team, tech and early customer traction. For growth stage companies we look for complete management teams at ~$20M revenue run-rates and above. At the early stage we're lead or co-lead investors while at the growth stage flexibility is the key word. We'll lead, follow, buyout shareholders in a secondary, top-up recent rounds, help set an external market price when existing investors want to invest above pro-rata and even help fund a small acquisition. Give us a call and we’ll figure something out.
SECTOR FOCUS: A tight founding team that applies technology to the confluence of macro trends to create or disrupt a big market. We believe there’s a golden age of technology right now and we are all lucky to be living through it. There’s not a corner of the economy or any industry that will not be transformed by technology over the next ten years.
GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS: Mostly New York Metro because it’s the fastest growing market for innovation; we like to maximize our value to entrepreneurs by being nearby. We go to board meetings…yes…but it’s more about jumping on the subway and working the whiteboard together. Having said that, we have ventured out occasionally (cheesy pun intended) and will invest anywhere our networks and great entrepreneurs take us but the bar is higher once you force Chip to get on a plane.
INVESTMENT SIZE: $1 to $6 million if you're early, for growth companies it's more like $5 - $30 million, all depending on stage, sector, capital needs, our circadian rhythms on the day you ask, etc.
We invest in people first, second and third. People that inspire us and inspire those around them. People with the passion and obsession to see their visions through to the end no matter what the obstacle.
We back radical innovation, not incremental improvement. If you have a better photo sharing app or you’re looking to make a quick buck and flip your company we’re not the firm for you. If you’re attacking a big market and solving a big problem give us a call. If you think in terms of billions and not millions, give us a call. If your family and friends think you’re crazy for leaving that super high paying safe job to work 24/7 because you’re obsessed about what you want to do – give us a call.
If you love dogs and hate cats then give us a call. Actually, you can call us if you like cats but just don’t bring one to our office – Brian’s allergic.
We work for our companies and hold ourselves accountable for getting things done. We’re helpful, not intrusive. The entrepreneurs we’ve backed have called us 3.14159265359 times for every 1 time we call them.
We are relentless seekers of truth and devout practitioners of intellectual honesty. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Life is too short.
We meet lots of companies and founders with ideas that aren’t companies yet. Some ring the startup tuning fork in our gut and we work on these with the founders. If we all believe we can build a great company together we invest and usually take a board seat. If only there were a more structured magic investment process formula but there isn’t.
By the way, we’re wrong all the time. It’s part of the gig. So if we say no it’s nothing personal and just know that we’ve been rejected many times before. Not everyone has the same vision of the future – and that’s ok.