Revolution Rise Of The Rest Raises $150 Million For Second Fund

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 31, 2019
  • Revolution has announced it raised $150 million for a second fund as backed by a group of well-known entrepreneurs, investors, and executives

A couple of years ago, Revolution had raised its first Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. And now Revolution has raised $150 million for a second fund as backed by a group of well-known entrepreneurs, investors, and executives — almost all of whom had invested in the inaugural Rise of the Rest Seed Fund.

The investors in this fund include Glenn August, Jim Barksdale, Jeff Bezos, Sara Blakely, Jim Breyer, Tory Burch, Steve Case, Ray Dalio, John Doerr, Jim Donovan, Scott Dorsey, Craig Duchossois, Bill Frist, Dan Gilbert, Edward “Ward” Glassmeyer, Josh Harris, Bill Haslam, Bradley Horowitz & Irene Au, Brendan Iribe, Sheila Johnson, Brad Keywell, Members of the Koch Family, Henry Kravis, Maria Elena Lagomasino, Eric Lefkofsky, Ted Leonsis, William M. Lewis, Jr., Joe Mansueto, Michael Milken, James Murdoch, Adebayo Ogunlesi, Sean Parker, Charles Phillips, Kevin Plank, Dina Powell & David McCormick, William Powers, Members of the Pritzker Family, Spencer Rascoff, David Rubenstein, Michael Rubin, Howard Schultz, Eric Schmidt, David Siegel, Brad Smith & Alys Smith, Megan Smith, Byron Trott, John Underwood, J.D. Vance, Jeff Vinik, Romesh Wadhwani, Members of the Walton Family, Meg Whitman, and Glenn Youngkin.

The first Revolution Rise of the Rest Seed Fund launched in late 2017 and backed nearly 130 companies in nearly 70 cities across 32 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico. And the balance of its capital will be reserved for follow-on investments in these companies as many have grown faster than predicted with nearly a dozen companies raising money at valuations above $100 million. The investments in new companies will be made from the second Rise of the Rest Seed Fund announced today.

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Revolution has built up a proprietary network of startup ecosystem relationships, including more than 200 regional venture firms. And Revolution became well-known for its Rise of Rest bus tours in 2014 to help find promising companies in rising cities.

“At the launch of our first Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, we were confident that we could identify a wide range of promising startups based outside of Silicon Valley,” said Steve Case, CEO of Revolution and anchor investor in both Rise of the Rest Seed Funds. “But the results to date have exceeded our most optimistic expectations. We have made initial investments at a faster pace than we originally anticipated, and we’re seeing a stepped-up pace of follow-on investments in companies that have scaled faster than expected. We were once a lonely voice in the venture world in touting this regional investment opportunity and are delighted to see the momentum now building in cities across the country.”

Revolution Managing Partner David Hall is leading the new fund. And Revolution partners Anna Mason and Mary Grove are going to have expanded leadership roles on the team. The diversity in the senior leadership roles at the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund will continue the effort to yield a portfolio with diverse founders that is reflective of the cities in which the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund invests.

“I have joined Steve and the team for every Rise of the Rest road trip since we started touring startup communities in 2014,” explained Hall. “And while each city is unique, they all have one thing in common: they recognize the power of entrepreneurship to revitalize and grow economies by providing jobs and opportunity. I am thrilled to take this next step in backing more companies that will help cities outside the coastal tech hubs thrive.”

This announcement also comes on the heels of research detailing the challenges of scaling companies and achieving a quality standard of living in the coastal technology hubs. Plus a recent report by LinkedIn illustrates that the San Francisco/Silicon Valley hub is having a hard time gaining residents from other cities due to housing costs that now exceed more than half of residents’ income.

Earlier this year, the Revolution team completed its eighth Rise of the Rest bus tour as it visited Orlando, the Florida Space Coast, Tampa Bay, Miami, and Puerto Rico. The Revolution team has now visited 43 cities and logged more than 11,000 miles touring startup ecosystems. And a ninth tour will be announced in early 2020.

Next month, Revolution will also host its second annual Rise of the Rest CEO Summit in Washington D.C. by bringing together portfolio company CEOs to discuss best practices and lessons learned. And the team has developed a portfolio support platform that has enabled companies to become even more capital efficient with access to software and tools at reduced rates along with a way to connect to subject matter experts.

“We are incredibly pleased to have so many of our investors reaffirm the Rise of the Rest Seed Fund strategy and again commit to the idea that great companies can—and do—start anywhere. Through our network of relationships in startup communities across the country, we have a unique window into the next generation of successful companies. We believe that supporting their growth will yield success for our funds, and help level the playing field so that geography is no longer a barrier to the pursuit of the American Dream,” added Case.