Maven Ventures To Continue Funding Billion-Dollar Tech Companies With New Fund

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 4, 2019
  • Maven Ventures recently announced it closed Maven Ventures Fund III, an oversubscribed $65 million seed-stage venture fund

Venture capital firm Maven Ventures recently announced it closed Maven Ventures Fund III (an oversubscribed $65 million seed-stage venture fund) to continue investing in big consumer trends. Over the past six years, Maven made 34 investments and had 2 exits valued at more than $1 billion. And with this new larger fund, Maven plans to explore bolder new trends and double down on its existing investment strategy.

Maven Ventures focuses on investing in software startups that are used by millions of consumers every day in order to make their lives better. With Fund III, the venture firm plans to make $750K-$1 million seed investments in founders “with a vision worth fighting for and the potential to build billion-dollar businesses.”

Maven also specializes in deeply supporting founders from the earliest days and follows on with larger checks as the companies scale up. This model was successfully executed in areas like mobile, autonomous vehicles and consumer transportation, video communication, and the consumerization of digital health. Typically, Maven invests in about 4-6 new companies every year.

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“We love what we do, in part because we fund companies that we want to see exist in the world, and that will improve the lives of their customers,” wrote Jim Scheinman and Sara Deshpande of Maven in a recent blog post. “This fuels our passion for working closely with our founders, which we can continue to do by keeping our fund size small and our team lean, investing in 4-6 new companies each year.”

The industry standard is to wait around 7-10 years for distributions from a seed-stage fund. But Maven is highly results-driven and they have been able to return capital to their LPs in about four years. One of the biggest outcomes for Maven to date was GM’s 2016 acquisition of Cruise Automation for more than $1 billion. Maven’s Fund I invested in Cruise four times before the acquisition.

Another major win for Maven Venture was the IPO of Zoom. Jim funded Zoom as an angel investor. And then they followed with investments into Zoom’s subsequent rounds from Fund I and Fund II.

And Fund I also saw strong performance with Ford’s acquisition of Chariot and Life360’s IPO following its acquisition of Maven’s portfolio company Waldo.

To date, 76% of Maven’s seed-stage companies have graduated from seed to Series A or 1x+ exit (by some accounts, this is twice the industry average).

“Many promising companies remain in our Fund I and II portfolios, several of which have raised major follow-on funding including Fund I companies Banjo (Series C, Softbank), Epic! (Series D, CAA), and Eden (Series A, S28) and Fund II companies Embark ($70M Series C from Tiger Global and Sequoia announced today), Hello Heart (Series B, Khosla), Carrot Fertility (Series A, CRV), and Skip (Series A, Menlo and Accel),” added Scheinman and Deshpande.

Fund III has already made some investments, including Genneve and Wild Type.

Featured image credit: Scheinman and Deshpande