- Uncork Capital recently announced it closed two new pools of committed capital totaling $200 million
Jeff Clavier — a managing partner at early-stage venture firm Uncork Capital (formerly known as SoftTech VC) — announced the closing of two new pools of committed capital totaling $200 million. Of the $200 million, $100 million will go towards the sixth early-stage fund and $100 million was earmarked for the second “Opportunity Fund.”
“While in early 2016 we had raised $100M and $50M for Fund V and Plus I, respectively, this time we decided to size both vehicles at $100M. There was a lot of interest among existing LPs for these new funds, and we got fully allocated very quickly — for which we are extremely grateful,” said Clavier in the announcements.
Clavier had thanked Byron Deeter at Bessemer for introducing Uncork to Rebecca Connolly at Tiger Iron a couple of years ago and her firm is now the largest new LP in the raise. Plus Rebecca also joined Uncork’s LPAC (LP Advisory Committee) alongside Kate (Albin) Lindberg from Sawdust, Lindel Eakman from Foundry Group Next, and Michael Kim from Cendana Capital.
“While there is no theoretical limit to the size of a seed fund, we think that $100M is optimal for our strategy and hence why we stuck to it despite strong market demand. We’re planning to invest Uncork VI over 3 years, deploying an average of $1.2M (range of $750K to $2M) for our initial check into 35 new startups. We’ll then take our pro-rata in most Series A rounds and some Series Bs. Our target ownership has continued to rise as we concentrated our portfolio, and we’re seeking 10–12% (or more) ownership when we lead a round, and 8% when we follow another lead. We expect to continue taking board seats in 40% of the deals we close — serving on these boards for two to three years,” added Clavier. “The rest of the time, we will co-lead or join a syndicate led by one of our peers. Companies we invest in will typically be raising a Seed round of $2M to $3.5M after developing a product that has received some initial validation from early users or customers. They may have raised a friends and family round, a pre-seed round, or have gone through an incubator.”
Some of Uncork’s latest successes included Vungle (acquired by Blackstone for a reported $750 million), an early investment in Postmates (reportedly going public later this year), and an early investment in SendGrid (acquired by Twilio for $3 billion in stock).
Uncork’s executives include Stephanie Palmeri (partner), Andy McLoughlin (partner), Ashley Cravens (director of operations), and Caden Jennings (office operations and community manager).