Reflection on our New Fund

  • April 27, 2017
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Bruce, Steve, Brent, and I are excited to announce we have closed our fourth fund, exceeding our target with an $80M fund focused on series A investments in software, marketplaces and content startups.

This is an exciting new chapter for Origin Ventures. Steve Miller and Bruce Barron started the firm in 1999 with their own capital. Now, 18 years later, we’ve built off the success of large exits of Grubhub and iNest, and the incredible growth of Teem, Apptentive, Ahalogy, Tovala, Tock and many others.

When we started raising the fund, we made a pledge to each other: we were not going to change what has made us successful. We agreed to continue to focus on series A investments and play an active role on the boards of our companies. This required us to set a target of $75M but to also limit how much we would be willing to raise. We did the math to understand our board capacity, ensuring that our target will permit us to continue to have the time to devote to each company to provide them the resources they need. We were operators and engineers before we were investors, and this gives us an appreciation for the needs of our companies.

While we’ve doubled the size from our last fund, we are not doubling the number of deals. As the size of series A rounds has increased steadily, this was a necessary step to (a) continue to take leadership roles in transactions, (b) to avoid capacity constraints and (c) avoid “stage creep”. This is reflected in the five deals we have already done out of this fund: Tock, Tovala, Avant, AppDetex and Kidizen.

We have also persisted a philosophy that was established by our co-founders from the beginning. The four partners are a significant percentage of the committed capital– in the double digits– and we invest on the same terms as our LPs. This compares to 1-3% in a typical fund.

The additional capital will also facilitate the expansion of our portfolio network. In the last year, we’ve held a sales summit, a marketing conference and a CEO summit with our portfolio companies. We’ve held countless online video roundtables covering a breadth of topics. Our collaboration platform has allowed our portfolio company leaders to pose questions to the community and connect with their peers.

Most of all, we are fortunate to have persisted in what is a tough business. There are few funds that make it to fund IV, and we consider ourselves privileged to work alongside entrepreneurs. We have been reminded how challenging and humbling it can be to be an entrepreneur during a fundraise, having ourselves emerged from that process. We are very grateful to our LPs who have placed trust in us and who have elected to invest along side us in this journey.

Click here to view the press release.

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