Why is your firm a part of NVCA?
We firmly believe in the positive global impact of the US venture capital industry. The NVCA has assembled the most significant and influential network of venture capital firms and corporate venture firms in the world on a collaborative platform. By investing and collaborating alongside NVCA members into smart entrepreneurs, we can help build incredibly valuable companies that will solve some of the biggest challenges the world faces today. Being part of a network of corporate venture and venture capital peers that believes in this effort, shares best practices, and that holds each other to high standards of integrity is a no-brainer.
Tell us about the current VC landscape in your geography/region.
With approximately 40% of all US venture capital invested into Northern California each year, we are seeing the formation of a “technology triangle” between San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento as Silicon Valley expands geographically. Our investment focus is on the US with special attention to the technology triangle in California. In addition to playing a significant role as an investor and host of tech summits in Northern California, we are collaborating with other investors in the fast-growing ecosystems in Southern California, Utah, Colorado, and Texas.
What’s ahead for your firm in 2019?
After a final close on a “proof-of-concept’ Fund I, investing in fourteen companies, and syndicating follow-on rounds with corporate venture groups, we have now launched our Fund II in 2019. Our current portfolio includes dynamic companies like Advanced Farm (AI/robotics), Cornami (AI/high-performance computing), GigaIO (AI/Data Centers), Nightingale Security (AI/Drones), and Pondera (AI/Cybersecurity) that are tracking now with customers and revenues. Following the recent initial close of our Fund II with existing corporate, endowment, and foundation limited partners, we plan to bring in a few more institutional limited partner and then turn our attention to building the next portfolio of approximately 30 seed stage artificial intelligence companies alongside co-investments from corporate venture groups.
Describe your firm’s culture in 5 words or less.
Smart, Connected, Active, Ethical, Bold (with a wicked sense of humor. That’s 11, but who’s counting…)