Meet our Portfolio Partners
June 26, 2019 | Abree Murch
At Alumni Ventures Group, we’re thrilled to be judged by the company we keep. This is especially true when it catches the attention of the New York Times. In collaboration with CB Insights, the Times recently featured a list of the Top Venture Capitalists of 2019. We’re pleased to say, as the second most active global investor according to PitchBook, we’ve had the benefit of co-investing with 11 of the 15 featured firms in many deals across our family of funds.
The majority of big deal wins and “unicorns” flow through these large venture capital firms, making our partnerships with them an important component of our success. These relationships give us unprecedented access to some of the largest deals in the game and added investment insight from its most influential players. All of this gives us the opportunity to help great innovators reach their full potential, while improving returns for our LPs.
Below, we’ll introduce you to some of the world-class VCs with which we partner, and some of the portfolio companies we’re supporting through those partnerships.
Andreessen Horowitz (known also as a16z and AH Capital), founded by technology veterans Marc Andreessen (creator of Mosaic, co-founder of Netscape) and Ben Horowitz (early Netscape exec and co-founder of LoudCloud), is one of the giants of the VC world. With over $10B assets under management (AUM), invested in seed- to late-stage tech and biotech startups, the firm boasts an impressive resume of exits including Facebook, Instagram, Zulily, and Zynga.
AVG recently co-invested with Andreessen Horowitz in an investment in Rigetti Computing, which is building the world’s most powerful computers by developing full-stack quantum computing solutions. Along with Google and IBM, Rigetti is considered a major player in the advancement of quantum computing in the US. The company recently announced a beta version of its Quantum Cloud Services platform, built to accelerate industry research and applications.
Lightspeed Venture Partners
Lightspeed Venture Partners has made a name for itself by funding a diverse portfolio of early-stage startups, primarily in the enterprise tech and consumer products sectors. Drawing on their collective wealth of technology and investment experience, Chris Schaepe, Barry Eggers, Ravi Mhatre, and Peter Nieh formed Lightspeed in 2000, going on to invest in household names such as Snapchat, Stitch Fix, and Nest.
We had the opportunity to co-invest with Lightspeed in Vector Space Systems. Vector is democratizing commercial satellite deployment by manufacturing high volume, small launch vehicles with attractive cost and flexibility. These deployments give space-based startups the opportunity to get into orbit faster and more affordably. Its Vector-R and Vector-H models enable customized deployment for projects of varying scale.
Access to space-based startups like Vector are an important component of our portfolio mix. These companies form the leading edge of innovation and become ever more valuable as the need for global problem-solving tech becomes pressing. Beyond the private sector’s interest in space-tech, the government is also embracing the value of these future-thinking firms; The DOD recently proposed changes to its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to allow primarily venture-backed small businesses to participate in bids for its program contracts.
Founded by Arthur Patterson and Jim Swartz in 1983, Accel is a veteran of institutional venture capital. Over three decades, Accel has earned a place as one of the largest names in VC with its “prepared mind” investment approach and its focus on early- to growth-stage startup funding. The firm has enjoyed a solid record of success, including investments in unicorns such as Facebook, Etsy, and Kayak.
AVG recently invested alongside Accel in the action camera startup Rylo. This powerful little 360° camera is the original “software-first” action cam for adventurous types, with a magical app that allows anybody to create unbelievable video. Because Rylo captures everything around you, the app allows the camera to be pointed after the shot is done. This innovative design and platform has attracted the attention of some other big names; Men’s Journal recently listed Rylo in its roundup of best action cams.
Founders Fund has invested in many of the biggest platforms used by consumers today, including Facebook, Spotify, and Lyft. Founded in 2015 by venture and entrepreneurship icons Peter Thiel, Ken Howery, and Luke Nosek, the firm invests in a diverse crop of future-thinking companies. As of 2016, it had investment holdings in excess of $3B.
We participated in an investment with Founders Fund in the “synbiotic” supplement maker Seed. Seed helps foster users’ health by supporting the ecosystem of 38M benign and beneficial microorganisms thriving in and on our bodies. The scientists and physicians behind Seed’s cutting-edge Synbiotic Daily Supplement believe that by working in harmony with our “non-human half,” humans can improve their health and hygiene, and create a better world around them.
We value the relationships we’ve built – with our lead investors, our portfolio companies, and especially with the limited partners investing in our funds. If you’d like to hear more about how we partner with top VCs to build diverse venture portfolios, click here to connect.