Avid Ventures Launches $68 Million Debut Venture Capital Fund

By Amit Chowdhry ● March 11, 2021
  • Avid Ventures recently launched a $68 million debut venture capital fund. These are the details.

Avid Ventures recently launched a $68 million debut venture capital fund. Avid partners with top-tier lead investors and takes a hands-on approach in helping founders evolve their early-stage startups into proven growth businesses. Avid was launched by Managing Partner Addie Lerner, a decade-long investor at General Catalyst, General Atlantic, and Goldman Sachs. And the firm has already made 6 investments in companies accelerating the credit, identity, co-working, healthcare, mortgage, and alternative payments industries.

The Avid Ventures Fund I was raised in 10 months during the 2020 pandemic and is anchored by Schusterman Family Investments and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. And the fund’s institutional investors include Foundry Group, General Catalyst, 14W, Slow Ventures, and LocalGlobe/Latitude through their Basecamp initiative that backs emerging managers. Avid also counts 50 highly strategic founders, entrepreneurs, and investors as LPs, 40% of whom are female, including Brynn Jinnett Putnam, founder of Mirror and Theresia Gouw, Founding Partner of Acrew Capital along with Jonathan Klein, co-founder of Getty Images.

Lerner is joined by Tali Vogelstein, a former investor at Bessemer Venture Partners — who previously sourced early-stage investments in Avid’s core geographies and sectors. Together, Lerner and Vogelstein have built out Avid’s initial portfolio, which includes Series A and Series B-stage investments in Nova Credit, Alloy, The Wing, Nava, and Staircase.

Avid partnered on these deals with lead investors Kleiner Perkins, Canapi Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Zigg Capital. And Avid’s portfolio companies have raised over $300 million in total. Plus Avid also organized an SPV to invest in the Series D round of Rapyd, a leading global payments unicorn valued at $2.5 billion. Lerner had previously invested in Rapyd’s Series B round at General Catalyst and remains a board observer.

Lerner had honed her experience as a growth and early-stage investor over the past decade at General Catalyst, General Atlantic, and Goldman Sachs’s Special Situations Group. And at these firms she helped to deploy over $450 million across 18 investments in software, fintech, and consumer internet companies spanning North America, Europe, and Israel. While at General Catalyst, Lerner realized she could uniquely support her portfolio companies like Rapyd, Monzo, and Chief by applying her growth-stage skill set and perspective to early-stage companies to help them evolve into efficient growth businesses.

Avid’s Advisory Board members – most of whom are also investors in Avid – include Nicky Goulimis (co-founder and COO of Nova Credit, Avid’s first portfolio company) as well as Brian O’Kelley (co-founder & former CEO, AppNexus), Tom Lee (founder & former CEO of One Medical), Arik Shtilman (co-founder & CEO of Rapyd), Audrey Gelman & Lauren Kassan (co-founders of The Wing), Carolyn Childers (co-founder & CEO of Chief), Andrew Konya (co-founder & CEO of Remesh), Alexa von Tobel (founder & Managing Partner, Inspired Capital), Lee Linden (founder & Managing Partner, Quiet Capital), Michael Eisenberg (co-founder & Equal Partner, Aleph), Susan Lyne (founder & Managing Partner, BBG Ventures), Adam Valkin (Managing Director, General Catalyst), and Anton Levy (Co-President, Managing Director, & Global Head of Technology, General Atlantic).

KEY QUOTES:

“We believe investing in a founder’s company is a privilege to be earned. We strive to build deep relationships early on and to prove our value well ahead of a prospective investment. Founders appreciate that our metrics-driven approach to early-stage investing helps them deeply understand their unit economics and glean new insights on how to optimize their growth engines. As part of that journey, the Avid team gets in the trenches alongside our founders to do the hard work of company building – we relish becoming an extension of our portfolio companies’ teams.”

— Addie Lerner

“Addie is a brilliant, hard-charging, and charismatic force within the venture community. She will win deals by force of intellect, personality, and the reputation for excellence and integrity that she has already developed here in the States, in the UK, and in Israel. Having been opposite Addie in my role as counsel to startups, I’ve been impressed to see, more than once, founders rapidly transition from meeting Addie to making room for her in oversubscribed venture rounds.”

— Ed Zimmerman, Chair, Tech Group, Lowenstein Sandler LLP (NY) and Adjunct Professor of VC, Columbia Business School

“Working with Addie is like working with a fellow entrepreneur. She’s a hustler and will do whatever it takes to get the best outcome… We view Addie as a team member, and it’s clear that she contributes beyond her responsibilities as a shareholder. From valuable customer introductions to being a second set of eyes on our financial projections, Addie and Avid have not shied away from the real work of building a company.”

— Laura Spiekerman, co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer of Alloy, one of Avid’s initial investments

“Addie, Tali, and Avid have been an outstanding partner for us. It’s rare to find an investor who creates quite so many surface areas for collaboration — and who delivers against all of them. Since joining our cap table, the Avid team has acted as an extended business development arm of the company: constantly identifying potential partners, connecting us through warm, thoughtful intros, and getting us broader exposure. Looking within, the Avid team has been an operational machine: helping us build out our financial plans and KPIs and supporting us as a recruiting machine.”

— Nicky Goulimis, co-founder and COO of Nova Credit, Avid’s first portfolio company