We’re excited (and a bit nervous) to announce a first close on our first ever venture fund at CB Insights. We’ve raised $27 million of a targeted $40 million first fund which we’re calling ChubbyBrain Ventures.
For those who know our history, you know that we began as ChubbyBrain with the world’s worst logo before being told by some our institutional clients they’d never buy a product with the name ChubbyBrain.
So to some degree, this is us coming full circle.
There is a lot to figure out but a few details and some answers to frequent questions:
- How did this happen? After AngelList raised $400 million from Chinese investors, we got a lot of inbound from Asia-based investors to start a fund that leveraged Mosaic (our predictive models on private company health). We were reluctant for a while, but after many conversations, we thought we could be founder-friendly, value-add investors.
- What will the focus be? Our thesis will center around what know – data, Saas and an enterprise focus. Things that can use CB Insights data will be interesting, of course, i.e. marketing and sales automation platforms, recruiting, risk management. We may opportunistically look at AI and VR as well.
- Average investment size? We are anticipating investing at the mature-seed / immature-A stage. We would love to find revenue-funded companies. CB Insights was revenue-funded for a long time and is growing at 100%+ per year so we prize capital efficiency and the discipline of selling a product for money. We are not interested in companies that will light lots of money on fire to grow quickly or those that are small and lean and building lifestyle businesses. In some sense, we are somewhere between the lean and fat startup. You could say we’re interested in the chubby startup.
- How is the fund structured? The team working on CB Insights will remain as is and will be separate from the fund. A couple of folks may move over, but we’re actively recruiting investment professionals. We are looking for a diverse set of candidates from Harvard, Stanford or Wharton.
- Deal sourcing? We are, of course, fans of data and expect to be quantitatively-inclined. Given our newsletter which reaches 150,000+ six times per week, we will also be launching a scout program that will make any newsletter subscriber a potential scout. We have built a technology and community platform to enable this and will issue more details in the coming weeks.
There is a lot to be done but we’re excited by the faith of our LPs.
More to come.