G20 Ventures Announces Fund III
Human scale venture capital, committed to entrepreneurs we can make a difference for over time.
We’re pleased to announce the closing of our third fund, a pool of fresh capital for East Coast B2B startups with product market fit, ready to scale their go to market model.
The fund will continue our “Human Scale Venture Capital” model, rooted in the observation that building successful companies is really, really hard. Winning demands focus, experience, and relationships close enough to be sustained through good times and bad. That closeness drives our continued geographic focus, appetite for scaling the B2B go-to-market phase we can best support, and, in the end, our concentrated risk model. In a Series A fund with 10 companies, every deal is important, because you only make real money together.
Big VC is famously a game of “strike-outs and home runs.” In our model, no one is disposable.
As with the prior two funds, we‘ll deploy this capital across 8–10 companies over 2–3 years, reserving additional capital for each business we invest in, and putting as much as $12 million from each fund into an individual investment. In the past we’ve even invested across funds, putting $20 million into 128 Technology before its sale to Juniper Networks late last year. All told across our funds, the early stage companies we’ve invested in have raised over a half billion dollars of follow on capital, a pretty good indicator of our track record picking winners.
Every VC, of course, claims to “add value.” Those that manage not to become a pain in the ass probably do, at least at the margins. In the end it doesn’t take much to add something… an occasional email on your behalf, maybe a lead on a candidate or a high level customer introduction. Going beyond that is rare, though, especially for funds whose strategy demands their partners sit on the boards of 10 or more portfolio companies. There’s only so much time in the day, only so much attention after the close of each quarter.
If your fund model anticipates writing off most of what you invest in, it’s just human nature not to get too personally invested in anything or anyone. That’s just a fact, and it’s what makes us different.
“Human scale” means we do more. A few investments into our third fund, my partners and I each sit on fewer than 5 active boards. We help wherever we’re asked to by the teams we support, and take some pride in being “first phone call” for operational help among the majority of our portfolio CEOs. We and the 30 G20 Members have delivered the current brand positioning strategy for seven of our twelve active portfolio companies; worked on essential demand gen and sales enablement programs across five; served in acting CMO and CSO roles when asked to do so; sourced, interviewed, and closed candidates for positions including CEO and VP of Engineering; and supported follow on capital raises in nearly every case with introductions to third party equity, debt, and investment capital providers.
We and our Members will do actual work, with real deliverables and responsibilities, across the portfolio.
As with our prior two funds, we continue to look for great teams in love with big problems, at the inflection point of customer validation. Our focus remains on early-stage, East Coast, enterprise software. We prefer technology risk to market risk, and won’t invest in 100% consumer-facing businesses.
We get that great teams are built over time, but look for a core team that includes a technologist with experience building solutions like the they’re building now, and a business person who really understands the buyer and how to reach them. We like to see a product in market, and add the most value to businesses looking to scale their go-to-market model.
Our sweet spot is $2–5 million in Series A, though stage names mean less and less these days.
We reserve capital for every deal we do, meaning we want to be with the entrepreneurs we back all the way to the finish line.
If you like what you hear and think we could help you… great! Give this a read to gather your thoughts on the kinds of questions we’ll ask, then get in touch here. We look forward to hearing from you!
In the meantime we’d like to thank the Members and other Limited Partners who’ve once again put their faith in our strategy, and in us. Without you this little adventure wouldn’t be possible, and we’re humbly and sincerely grateful for your continued support.
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