CRV XVII: 48 Years of History and a New Chapter
CRV was founded nearly half a century ago with the goal of providing capital to early-stage companies led by remarkable visionaries. We’ve been fortunate throughout our firm’s history to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry — over 400 startups — and have a hand in some of the biggest tech exits in the last few years including Dropbox, Twitter, Yammer, and Zendesk. Aside from old-fashioned luck, a huge contributor, our success is attributable to the culture that we have built over multiple generations that encourages trust, open communication and, above all else, a lot of humility. Our job, as we have always seen it, is to play a supporting role to the superb teams that we back. We are not always right, we do not always have all the answers, but we are always up front, available and self-aware.
Today, we take the next step in our journey by announcing the close of CRV XVII, a $600M vehicle for continued investments in early-stage technology, but with an additional mandate for growth investing.
Over the last 10 years, the landscape for VC investing has changed considerably. Winner-take-all and winner-take-most economies have made the size of outcomes much larger than it was 20 years ago. And with these outsized outcomes, the entry point for VC investing has become more fluid. When outlining what this fund’s investment thesis was, we knew that early-stage investments had to remain our focus as it’s part of our DNA. But we also wanted to make our first foray into strategic growth investments by investing in select companies as they mature. Some of these companies will come from within the CRV portfolio, but the main focus of this strategy is to create the ability to invest in later-stage rounds of teams that we have gotten to know well but have not invested in previously.
Growth is new to CRV, and we will approach it the same way we approach all new initiatives, as a way to learn, grow and stay in sync with the market realities. When we first decided to build a growth practice, we believed the right way to proceed was to raise a separate, dedicated growth fund. Less than a year into that experiment, we came to the realization that our audience, the entrepreneurs, found it confusing that we had two funds and, in their minds, two teams. To simplify this and streamline the operations, we made the decision to build growth from a single fund and with the core CRV team.
On the early-stage side, Fund XVII’s focus will be on three important sectors: enterprise, consumer and bioengineering. Our partner George Zachary has created a new practice in bioengineering, the intersection between healthcare and computer science, machine learning and machine vision. We believe that healthcare is ripe for massive disruption from the application of compute power to traditional fields of biology and chemistry, and over the past year George and our newest partner, Dylan Morris, have been active in this emerging area. We continue to build out our enterprise practice, and have been fortunate enough to have worked with amazing teams at companies including Drift, Airtable and Accompany, among many others. On the consumer side, we’ve built an exciting portfolio of market leaders including DoorDash, Patreon and Ring.
With CRV XVII, we’re not changing who we are; we’re staying true to our roots, while also greatly expanding our ability to invest in the entrepreneurs that are changing the world.
— The CRV team