We are excited to announce our $85 million Signia Venture Partners III early-stage fund that closed during 2018. We want to take this opportunity to reflect on our past two funds and tell you a bit about transition into our third fund.
Signia Fund I
Since launching Signia Venture Partners in 2012, our SVP I fund has hit some great milestones. We were the largest seed investor in Cruise Automation, the autonomous vehicle tech company that recently achieved a $19 billion valuation after spinning out of General Motors following a 2016 acquisition. A few other standout exits in SVP I include FunPlus, a social gaming startup that sold to Chinese gaming conglomerate Zhongji for nearly $1 billion, and Tenor, acquired by Alphabet.
There are also some other promising names in our current SVP I portfolio that we are very enthusiastic about. Scoop, the leader in enterprise carpooling, serves companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Tesla, LinkedIn, Symantec, Expedia and Workday. They have raised $100m capital from follow-on investors such as Index and G2VP. Boxed, has raised $300m, and is the recognized leader in the wholesale digital retailing of dry goods, household products and health supplies.
Signia Fund II
We then launched Signia Venture Partners II and the fund’s portfolio was assembled between 2015 and 2018. The two-dozen company portfolio includes Reali, which has established a unique position as a tech-enabled realtor. Reali is closing over 50 houses per month and has raised $40m in financing. Fortem utilizes advanced radar technology and machine learning to enable airports and other critical infrastructure to manage, detect and secure the airspace against unauthorized drones. They have raised follow-on funding from DCVC, Boeing, and Mubadala. StriVR, the leader in VR assisted training, has been selected by enterprises such as Walmart, which has used StriVR to train over 750,000 U.S. workers, to date.
The philosophy driving these investments emphasizes our high-touch approach to working with founders. We are here to help our founders through the good times and the bad. Despite meeting with hundreds of startup teams every year, we only invest in six to eight of them. This focus stems from our desire to partner closely with every team that joins the portfolio and belief that investments should only flow from strong conviction around a company.
We make initial investments at the earlier stages of a startup’s lifecycle, from idea inception to pre-seed, through Series A. Our firm often leads financing rounds and supports the company as a board member, but insists on neither.
SVP I initially focused on Silicon Valley businesses and we have since expanded to opportunities in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Austin. The vision for our initial fund was centered around mobile devices and data analytics, including marketing tech, ecommerce, transportation, fintech and security. Then SVP II added vertical markets such as real estate, corporate training and retail, with companies deploying disruptive technologies such as blockchain, ML, VR, radar and drone-enabled computer vision.
Since there are smart, passionate founders building category-defining companies in many different fields, Signia is sector-agnostic, and has put money into startups tackling everything from drone defense systems to direct-to-consumer bridal dresses. We are excited to expand our investment focus even more in our current fund.
Now we are in our third fund and have made six initial investments. Our first investment of SVP III was Sendoso, the world’s first sending platform that sources, warehouses, and manages company swag and customer gifting. Picap, Exer and Inertia Systems cover scooter ride sharing, computer vision enabled motion coaching, and construction workflow, respectively. We are excited to build out the remainder of the SVP III portfolio over the next two years.
We have also expanded our Signia team in SVP III, welcoming David Bloom, Associate, and Heidi Burns Hilton, Head of Community. They join existing team members, Anagha Raje, CFO, and Gina Domizio, Operations and Partner Relations Director.
In this current fund, we have promoted Linus Liang, who joined Signia in 2015, to Partner, and Sunny Dhillon, a member of the original founding team, from Partner to Signia’s third Managing Director.
Our initial fund formation was driven by Rick Thompson in 2012. Soon after, Ed Cluss joined as Managing Director and they raised LP capital in early 2013. Building on their extensive prior operational experience, Rick and Ed had collaborated on numerous angel investments between 2008 and 2012.
Our LPs include major media companies, colleges, hospitals, national museums and several large institutional funds. We are thankful to work alongside them.
We are passionate about helping companies succeed and partnering with entrepreneurs. Our team is looking forward to watching our newest fund expand over the next few years. Thank you to all who have been a part of this journey with us.