Our Journey Continues — Announcing $220M Slow IV Seed and Opportunity Funds
Slow began investing in startups in 2011 with a small $1.25M angel fund. We were backed exclusively by five friends from Facebook’s early days who were eager to support the next generation of tech entrepreneurs. Over time, that group of friends grew beyond the Facebook network to include other founders, professional investors, and executives from notable tech companies both within and beyond Silicon Valley. We understood that developing good ideas and company creation takes time, so we named our fund “Slow,” and did our best to make smart, calculated investments in companies that had a long term mission and the patience to execute on their vision.
Eight years later, this mentality remains the bedrock of our culture, far as we’ve come from that first small fund. With our prior three funds, we have been proud to invest in industry-leading companies like Casper, Pillpack, Slack, Ro(Roman), Allbirds, Postmates, Airtable and many others. These investments give us the privilege to support great founders whose success will benefit our world-class LPs, including many foundations and endowments. Today, we’re proud to announce that we get to keep doing this work, as we’ve just closed two new funds — our fourth seed fund, Slow IV, which is $165M in size, and our first opportunity fund, Slow Opportunity I, which is $55M.
Our new funds secure $220M in additional investable capital, bringing Slow’s total assets under management (AUM) to $450M. They build on the success of Slow III, our first institutionally backed fund, which launched in 2016 with $145M and has made nearly 50 core seed-stage investments and the two smaller funds that preceded it.
With the fresh capital in Slow IV, we’ll stay busy in the startup ecosystem, investing primarily in companies seeking seed-stage financing. With our first Opportunity Fund, we’re excited to be able to invest additional capital in existing Slow portfolio companies as they scale, while also now being able to invest alongside notable leading Series B firms in more mature growth-stage companies that we missed earlier on.
Though we sometimes flex toward our original angel roots with smaller pre-seed investments, our primary focus is to be the lead investor (or collaborative co-lead) in a company’s seed round. We’re eager to help founders build strong investor syndicates, drawing on deep relationships with top early-stage funds and strategic angels.
We remain a generalist fund, meaning we consider innovative companies across every US geography, industry, and technology. This lack of sector focus isn’t a mistake or accident — we’re obsessively curious and eager to learn about new and diverse ideas. Our previous funds have invested in categories ranging from consumer brands (both digital and physical products) to enterprise software, crypto and blockchain, pets, health and wellness, fintech, space, and digital security.
As our founders can attest, partnering with Slow offers access to a strategic community, relationships, and connections that have been developed and nurtured over many years. Instead of being a full-stack fund offering many outsourced services to portfolio companies, we provide founders the best-possible leverage by honing our personal relationships with the most successful and prestigious downstream investors. Our capital comes from renowned endowments and institutions, over 100 successful tech founders, CEOs, and executives, and over 30 notable VC firms and angel investors. This community is a financial and interpersonal advantage for our portfolio and enables us to run a light, flexible operation.
Once we invest in a company, our primary focus is helping ensure the founders are testing the right hypotheses, thoughtfully allocating time and money, strategically scaling their team, and achieving the key metrics and milestones that will enable them to raise subsequent funds as they approach their growth stages. After 12–18 months, our leverage shifts to introducing our founders to the right potential downstream investors, at the right time. By lifting investor networking and fundraising from our founders’ shoulders, we free them to focus on priority #1: keeping their heads down building their businesses, and help eliminate the time and distraction often required to concurrently curate future investor relationships.
Our two new funds will be managed by Slow’s existing Partners, Kevin Colleran, Sam Lessin, and Will Quist. Dave Morin and Scott Marlette will be stepping back from making new investments from these new funds but will continue to support the existing Slow portfolio while they also focus on other entrepreneurial projects. From the start, Slow was designed to be a collective, where some of our Partners (some of whom are also full-time entrepreneurs) are able to come and go as their interests and focuses evolve.
As usual, we will continue to do our best not to take ourselves too seriously. We know that what we do is one part of a much bigger puzzle, and we hope this mentality shines through in our communication, and the way we support founders. We’re having a ton of fun, and inspired by the diverse entrepreneurs we meet every day. We look forward to continuing the journey for years to come 🚀.
To The Future,
Kevin Colleran, Sam Lessin, and Will Quist