Announcing Susa Ventures II
We’re thrilled to announce the public launch of Susa Ventures II, a $50M seed-stage fund focused on backing category-defining companies that are building defensibility using data, network effects and/or economies of scale. In short, we invest in moats.
We plan to invest in 12 companies per year, with an average check size of $500k, and a focus on the US (but we’re open to investing globally).
Wrapping up Susa Ventures I
We wrapped up Susa Ventures I, our 2014 $25M fund, in May 2016 with 41 companies. We feel extremely fortunate to have partnered with so many amazing founders building category-defining businesses that include Andela, Flexport, LendUp, Periscope Data, Robinhood, Qadium and many more.
These founders have made extraordinary progress in a short amount of time. Companies in the Fund I family have raised over $500M in follow-on funding from friends like Founders Fund, Google Ventures, Index, NEA, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and many more. They have also sold products into 2,500+ enterprises, reached 25M+ users, and created 1000+ jobs. Kudos to each and every team member at these businesses.
So what do we plan to do with Susa Ventures II?
We plan to amplify much of what was working in fund I. Our focus will continue to be on building out the Susa Family — a group of founders, investors and partners who help each other succeed.
As an aside, the name ‘Susa’ comes from a mountain gorilla family in Virunga National Park that exhibits some of the strongest family bonds in the animal world. We loved the concept of modeling a VC fund after a tight-knit family, where each member supports one another.
The larger fund size enables us to invest more into building out products and services that help the Susa Family connect in better and more efficient ways.
Here are some exciting changes we’re bringing to fund II:
Check size — we are scaling our check size from ~$250k in fund I to ~$500k in fund II.
Involvement — we want to lead more (ideally ~50% of the time). We have no problem with being the first check in, and are happy to be the ‘investor of record’ (put our brand on the line to share in the ups and downs). We are also happy to co-invest with other great lead investors and strong syndicates as we have been doing for the past three years.
Bandwidth— our goal is to maintain a very concentrated, hands-on approach to partnering with founders. We plan to scale our team at all levels, including the investment team, to make sure we are always available to dig in when needed. We strive to be the most active investor in your company.
Events — family bonds are strengthened in person, so we will continue to build out special ways for our community to spend time face to face.
Office space — we went from a distributed team with no office, to a new 3k square foot office space in the Mission District of SF with room for new portfolio companies to crash in until they find something permanent.
Team — perhaps most importantly, we’re growing the team. If you have experience as a product manager, engineer or early-stage investor, and want to join the investment team, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we want to thank all our founders, investors, c0-investors, friends and family for all your support so far. A fund is nothing without the family that supports it.