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VC Daily: VC Firms Polish Their Brands | Andreessen Horowitz Raises First LateStage Fund
Andreessen Horowitz Raises First Late-Stage Fund – WSJ
Good day. When early-stage venture firm Trail Mix Ventures fired up its website in 2017, it
chose “a mauve take on millennial pink” for its color scheme.
That was a deliberate contrast to the web design co-founder Soraya Darabi had seen so often
before in venture capital—“blue and white and all-male,” as she jokingly described it.
Venture-capital firms didn’t try to stand out like that a decade ago, when they kept to the
background as they focused on building companies with breakthrough technologies. But they
have been steadily transforming their approach ever since VC titan Andreessen
Horowitz opened in Silicon Valley in 2009 and built a following partly through blogging, social
media and the press.
The shift has accelerated as competition has risen and firms have paid more attention to
consumer-facing startups. The WSJ’s Nat Ives and I have more.
And now on to the news…
In the News
* It raised two vehicles: a $2 billion fund to focus on late-stage investments, and a $750 million
early-stage fund that will emphasize startups in the enterprise, consumer and fintech sectors.
* Having a fund dedicated to later-stage opportunities is a first for the firm, which Marc
Andreessen and Ben Horowitz founded in 2009. That vehicle will be “aimed at great new companies that are just hitting escape velocity, and that may need a more venture-like mindset to support their further company building and scaling,” according to a blog post by the firm.
* Newly hired General Partner David George will lead the late-stage fund, called LSV Fund I, and
a dedicated investing team. Mr. George joined in March from global growth-equity firm General
Atlantic to help Andreessen Horowitz expand its later-stage investing. WSJ Pro’s Marc
Vartabedian has the story.
Countable, an app that helps users track and contact elected officials, acquired the community
and intellectual property of voting app Brigade for an undisclosed amount. Canaan Partners is
an investor in Countable.
Validity Inc., a provider of data-management software and services backed by Silversmith
Capital Partners, agreed to purchase Return Path Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The email
management company’s backers include Costanoa Ventures, Flatiron Partners, Mobius Venture
Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Union Square Ventures.
Publicly traded Pluralsight Inc. agreed to acquire GitPrime Inc. for $170 million in cash. The
Durango, Colo.-based software engineering analytics provider counts OpenView Venture
Partners and Data Collective among its investors.
Intercontinental Exchange has agreed to acquire Simplifile LC for $335 million. Started in 2000,
the Provo, Utah-based company backed by Insight Partners, a New York private-equity and
venture investing firm, provides software to connects mortgage lenders, settlement agents and
deed recording offices.
Madrona Venture Group closed a new $100 million fund. The Madrona Acceleration Fund will
make Series B and C investments in technology startups. The Seattle-based firm’s most recent
fund was last year’s $300 million Madrona Fund VII.
Pegasus Tech Ventures said it is launching its “venture-as-a-service” firm that invests on behalf
of international corporations including computer maker Asus and auto-parts specialist Aisin.
The San Jose, Calif.-based team is led by founder and General Partner Anis Uzzaman, an
entrepreneur and former strategic investor with chip and software companies.
VideoAmp Inc., which helps advertisers target and measure the impact of their ads across
platforms such as TV and mobile, completed a $70 million funding round. Raine Group LLC led
the investment with participation from Ankona Capital. Peter Liguori, formerly chief executive
at Tribune Media, along with Erik Hodge, managing director at Raine Group, are joining the
company’s board. VideoAmp previously raised funding from investors including Mediaocean,
RTL Group, StartUp Capital Ventures, Anthem Venture Partners and Wavemaker
Zenoti, a Bellevue, Wash.-based provider of business management software for the spa and
salon industry, closed a $50 million Series C round of funding. Tiger Global Management led the
investment, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners and
Red Canary, a Denver-based cybersecurity startup, raised $34 million in growth equity. Summit
Partners led the round, with participation from Access Venture Partners and Noro-Moseley
Partners. Andy Collins, managing director at Summit, joined the company’s
DivvyCloud, an Arlington, Va.-based provider of security and compliance automation for public
cloud and container infrastructure, secured a $19 million growth round of funding. Providence
Strategic Growth led the investment, with Managing Director Brian J. Shin joining the board.
MissionOG and RTP Ventures also participated. https://divvycloud.com
Invert Robotics, a New Zealand-based provider of inspection robotics, picked up an $8.8 million
investment. Finistere Ventures led the round, with participation from investors including
Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley, Inception Asset Management and the New
Zealand Venture Investment Fund. https://www.invertrobotics.com
TerraClear Inc., a robotic ag-tech startup with offices in Bellevue, Wash. and Grangeville, Idaho,
landed a $6.1 million financing round. Madrona Venture Group led the funding, with Managing
Director Matt McIlwain joining the board. https://www.terraclear.com
Small Door Inc., a New York-based veterinary startup, was seeded with a $3.5 million
investment. Lerer Hippeau and Primary Venture Partners co-led the round, with participation
from Brand Foundry Ventures and others. http://www.smalldoorvet.com
Allganize, an Oakland, Calif.-based startup that provides deep-learning based natural-language
understanding and conversational AI for enterprise, gathered a $3.4 million Series A round.
SparkLabs Ventures led the funding, with participation from Global Brain, Bass Investment
Corp., Laguna Investment and Fast Investment. https://www.allganize.ai
Cushion, a San Francisco-based app that helps consumers negotiate their bank and credit card
fees, raised $2.8 million in seed funding from Afore Capital, 9Yards Capital, Flourish, Green
Cow Venture Capital and Vestigo Ventures. https://cushion.ai
The co-founders and co-chief executives of uBiome Inc., Jessica Richman and Zac Apte, are on
leave in the wake of a search of the company’s offices by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last
week. The board has named uBiome’s general counsel, John Rakow as interim chief executive,
the lab-testing startup announced Wednesday, and a special committee will oversee an
independent investigation into the company’s billing practices.