The firm now has $785 million in capital under managementRead more...
Javelin is an early stage firm, with initial check sizes from $250k to $6M
One of the most interesting trends this year has been the pace at which venture capital firms have been raising funds. In the first half of this year, there was already $22.8 billion raised, according to data from NVCA, putting the year on track for over $45 billion in all. To put that in perspective, there was $28 billion raised in all of 2015. In fact, in only one year since 2007 have VCs raised more than $30 billion.
A lot of that likely has to do with later stage firms, raising funds of at least $1 billion, of which there have been many this year, but the early stage venture firms also seem to be raising with ease.
That now includes Javelin Venture Partners, which has raised its fourth fund, called JVP-IV, it was announced in a blog post on Wednesday. The $125 fund is the same size as it third fund, which it raised back in 2013.
The firm will use it to make initial investments that will range from $250,000 to $6 million, with reserves for follow-ons, which can be anywhere from 1x to 2x the initial investment.
Javelin averages about six to eight investments a year, and made 20 investments of its last fund, which has now been fully allocated, not including the reserves for follow-ons. That means that all new investments are being made from Fund IV from now on.
Established in 2008, Javelin, a longstanding sponsor of Vator, makes investments in the seed, Series A, and sometimes Series B, rounds. The firm was the first institutional investor in Thumbtack, and has also made investments in companies that include Engrade, Kitchit, Boost Media, MasterClass, Plug.dj, The Hunt,Weddington Way, Nexenta, SmartAsset, StealthCo and Estimote.
Unlike other firms that have a specific focus on certain sectors, Javelin is a generalist fund, looking more for opportunities that fit its fundamental business criteria than a specific space. It has made investments in spaces such as consumer marketplace, on demand, edtech and vertically integrated e-commerce.
"We don't actually focus on any particular sectors, though we tend to gravitate to things where we operating experience or have otherwise gained expertise, such as marketplaces, digital media, SaaS and FinTech, among others," Jed Katz, Managing Director at Javelin, told me.
"We have a very entrepreneurial culture at Javelin. In many cases, the relationship we have with our founders feels different than with other investors. It's a very collaborative approach. We just want to help build valuable, lasting companies."
The last time that Javelin raised a fund was 2013, when VC firms raised $17 billion, only $3 billion more than was raised in Q1 of this year alone. So, I asked Katz if it was easier to raise a fund now as compared to three years ago.
"We're fortunate to have a very supportive group of LPs who have a lot of visibility into our portfolio and believe in Javelin's approach to attracting and helping great entrepreneurs. Having long term focused investors also keeps us totally aligned with our founders," he said.
This new fund also puts Javelin in rare company: according to data from Pitchbook, since 2008, only four other firms have closed their first and fourth early stage fund. They are Slow Ventures, Harrison Metal Capital, AddVenture (out of Moscow) and Open Ocean Capital (out of Helsinki). Now you can add Javelin to that list.
In addition to the new fund, the firm also announced that Alex Gurevich who has been part of Javelin since joining in 2010, has been promoted to Managing Director for JVP-IV.
"It has been one of the joys of my life to work with Jed and Noah, building Javelin over the past 6 years. It is truly a second family for me. Our entrepreneur-first approach and focus on early stage company building is incredibly fulfilling," Gurevich told me.
"I'm honored to become a Managing Director of Javelin and look forward to helping our current and future entrepreneurs develop the next wave of breakout ventures."
(Image source: javelinvp.com)
Read more from our "Fund News" series
Ghaffary was formerly the CEO of Eat24 and general partner at Social CapitalRead more...
This is the first fund raised by the firm since changing its name from IDG Ventures USA last yearRead more...
Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
Joined Vator on
Thumbtack helps you accomplish the personal projects that are central to your life.
Whether you need to paint your home, learn a new language, or plan your daughter's birthday party, Thumbtack is the easiest and most dependable way to hire the right professional for your projects.
Get started by answering a few questions about your specific needs. Within hours, Thumbtack will introduce you to several available and qualified professionals. Compare custom quotes, reviews, and profiles and hire when you’re ready.
By connecting customers like you to the right pros, we enable independent professionals to grow their businesses and do what they love. We’re proud that many of our pros have doubled or even tripled the size of their businesses through Thumbtack.
Thumbtack is available nationwide for more than 700 project categories.
Joined Vator on
Invests in early-stage tech companies with incredible potential, managed by teams of energetic, trustworthy and capable leaders. Key focus areas include digital media, Internet commerce, mobile and healthcare IT. Javelin looks for advanced bleeding-edge innovations, where the addressable market size is substantial and strong competitive advantages exist. A typical investment is between $1 to $4 million, with reserves for follow-on investments. In addition, Javelin also considers smaller seed investments for unique companies just getting started. Located in downtown San Francisco, while invests throughout the world. Javelin is a very active investor with a long-term outlook and the objective of creating substantial value.
Joined Vator on
Kitchit, the website pioneering the concept of “bespoke dining,” connects consumers directly with top professional chefs who create everything from world-class gastronomic adventures to casual dinner parties. Kitchit brings the quality and ease of restaurant fine-dining to private and in-home events. Our mission is to create experiences that are effortless, memorable, and made-to-order—that’s why we call it “bespoke.” Kitchit’s hand-picked chefs will take care of everything from shopping to clean up. Founded by Brendan Marshall, Ian Ferguson and George Tang in 2010, Kitchit is headquartered in San Francisco.
Joined Vator on
Plug.dj's mission is dedicated to growing positive international communities for sharing and discovering music.
We enable people from all around the world to connect via shared interests and socially consume music/videos in realtime. Our users choose from a wide array of expressive characters, join any number of virtual rooms where they can discover and share music and videos, and communicate with international cohorts.
Our average user spends 2 hrs 30 min on the site per visit while actively engaging in the social consumption of videos and music, gaming mechanics, international chat and social media integration that leaves the user with a positive experience.
In December 2013, we raised $1.25m from Javelin Venture Partners.
Here's a few quick highlights of our progress over the past 6 months:
- Organically grown our community to +3.8m registered users in +190 countries (940k MAU up 54% last 6 months)
- Average active user engagement +2 hrs 30 min (up from 48 min last 6 months)
- Retention: 7D: 48%, 30d: 35%
- Plug.dj is already localized into +20 languages
- Solid, well-rounded team of 4 engineers, 2 designers/artists, 2 marketing/community, 1 BD/sales (from founding team last 6 months)
Joined Vator onPrincipal at Javelin Venture Partners. Investor in Thumbtack, WellnessFX, and Prismatic. Board observer at Skytree, PowerCloud, and AppFirst. Previously first employee at ooma and Principal at DFJ.
Joined Vator onJed Katz is the Managing Director of Javelin Venture Partners. One of the pioneers of online commerce, Jed has spent his 20 year career developing, advising & investing in early stage tech ventures.