Early stage firm ff Venture Capital raises $54M fund

Steven Loeb · May 5, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/4542

The New York-based firm is also said to be raising a separate fund for follow-on investing

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Even with the downturn in the market, venture capital firms are doing better than they have been in a long time, raising more money than they have in a decade. That's not just big, billion-dollar funds we're talking about, but smaller funds as well.

The latest to raise a new fund is New York-based ff Venture Capital, which raised a $53.78 million fund, called  ff Sapphire (IV) Venture Capital Fund GP, according to a regulatory filing with the SEC. The funding came from 82 investors. 

The firm last raised a $52 million fund, called ff Rose, back in 2014. Since then, it has hired two new partners, Adam Plotkin and Michael Faber. Along with founder John Frankel, Alex Katz and David Teten, that brought the total number of partners to five.

It now has over $150 million under management.

Founded in 1999, ff Venture Capital is  an early stage investor, putting money around the formation stage of its companies, with an emphasis on enterprise space, hardware, and SaaS. 

The firm usually invests between 15 and 20 companies a year, with initial checks of between $100,00 and $500,000, and 75 percent of its capital saved for follow on investments. 

Some of its high profile investments include Indiegogo, Skycatch, UniKey, Plated, Ionic Security and TopFlight Technologies.

Despite the raise, ff Venture Capital might not be done yet. The firm is also said to be raising an Opportunity Fund, which would allow to go even deeper into its portfolio companies.

Venture capital fundraising

VC fundraising is doing surprisingly well, despite how hard it has become for companies to get funding.

There was $35.5 billion in total capital committed to VC funds in 2015, the second-highest total of the decade, surpassed only by the $36.4 billion raised in 2006. It's also a 4.7 percent increase from the $33.9 billion raised in 2014.

At the same time, though, the number of funds raised actually dropped 6 percent year-to-year to 242 from 258 in 2014. The most popular-sized fund raised was under $50 million funds, with 124, or more than 50 of the fund. Those small funds raised $1.2 billion, or 3.3 percent of percent of dollar volume.

Funding has continued to remain high this year as well. Venture firms in the United States raised $12 billion in the first quarter of this year. Not only does that equal an increase of dollars by 59 percent year-to-year, it's the best fundraising quarter since Q2 of 2006, when $14.3 billion was raised. 

The news wasn't all good, though: the funding was raised across 57 funds,  a 17 percent decrease year-to-year. That breaks down to 43 follow-on funds, a 10 percent decrease from Q1 2015, and 14 new funds, a 33 percent decrease.

It seems like, even though the amount of money is still high, fewer funds are actually getting their hands on that cash.

VatorNews reached out to ff Venture Capital for more information, but the firm had no further comment about the new fund.

(Image source: access.ffvc.com)

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ff Venture Capital

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ff Venture Capital invests in startups that can be the low cost, disruptive player in their respective industry and can grow to over $100m in revenue.   Founded in 1999, we are one of the oldest and most active early-stage investors in New York.  ff has made over 100 investments in over 55 companies.  We typically invest $50-$300K initially, and will invest up to $1m in subsequent rounds. Among our most successful seed investments that have reached maturity are Cornerstone OnDemand (March 2011 IPO, ticker CSOD) and Quigo Technologies (sold to AOL for a reported $340m).

 

We offer portfolio acceleration, not just advice. 

We have eight full-time employees and 5,000 square feet of office space to help our portfolio companies.  We provide hands-on support through our in-house operating team, plus a proprietary network of outside mentors who work with portfolio companies on an as-needed basis.  Our finance team acts as your outsourced CFO.   We have built a library of best practices in building startups; see ffvc.com for details.  We particularly help companies in raising capital for subsequent rounds from top-tier late-stage investors. We also offer you discounted services from 20 (and growing) service providers specializing in the startup community, including providers of legal advice, development services, testing, infrastructure, public relations, and recruiting.

 

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John Frankel

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