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On August 6th, 2018 | by Aydin Senkut
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Felicis Ventures, the Palo Alto-based boutique venture capital firm, announced today that it has raised $96M for its fourth fund to back iconic companies with a focus on reinvention of core markets, such as security and mobile infrastructure, as well as development of frontier areas, including machine learning and personalized medicine. The fund, backed 100% by institutional investors, welcomes three university endowments as limited partners.
Since its inception in 2006, Felicis has refined its unique founder-centric approach while backing over 120 technology companies, 50 of which have been acquired or gone public. With each added fund, Felicis has tripled its aggregate enterprise exit value, which now exceeds $5.6B. The current portfolio spans a variety of sectors and includes startups headquartered in ten countries. Notable portfolio companies include Adyen, Bonobos, ClearSlide, Counsyl, Fitbit, Rovio and Shopify.
With its fourth fund, Felicis’s largest to-date, the team intends to lead more sizeable financing rounds and continue to play a pivotal role with its founders. “Felicis believed in our potential before everyone else,” remarked Manish Lachwani, co-founder & CTO of Appurify, a mobile testing company recently acquired by Google. “Many investors make introductions for their portfolio companies, but Sundeep made the most important one of all: he brought me and my co-founder together,” said Lachwani. “We frequently looked to him for advice and support all the way up until our acquisition.”
Felicis’s most important requirement for partnering with a founder is shared conviction. “Felicis sought us out after using our service. They were both prepared and enthusiastic at our first meeting. The team made it clear that they believed in our mission and would work with us to make preventable medicine achievable,” said Ramji Srinivasan, cofounder of health technology company Counsyl. “Their initial investment in our Series B and substantial follow-on support matched their conviction on day one.” Similarly, a strong belief in the enormous potential of global payments infrastructure led the Felicis team to pursue Netherlands-based
Adyen. Following two years of building a relationship with Adyen’s founders, Felicis became one of only two institutional investors in the rapidly growing company.
The new fund will also allow Felicis to meaningfully deepen its alignment with founders: today, the firm announced a commitment to always vote its investor shares alongside them. This initiative has been lauded by industry heavyweights, including Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator. “For the two years I was angel investing before joining YC, I often did this when I funded entrepreneurs. I applaud Felicis for taking this step and hope other funds will follow in their footsteps,” he said.
Jack Abraham, a founder Felicis has backed multiple times and whose first startup, Milo, was acquired by eBay, originally suggested the voting rights concept. Abraham, who is also an advisor to Felicis, noted that, “Renata, Sundeep and Aydin genuinely care for their founders.
The firm’s conservative fund size means that exits that wouldn’t move the needle to larger funds remain meaningful for Felicis, reinforcing their alignment with the companies they back. Whether it’s committing to vote their shares with the founders, or being flexible on the usual ownership, stage or location constraints, Felicis is trailblazing a truly special approach to venture capital.”
For more information on Felicis and a graphical representation of the fund’s impact globally, visit: felicis.wpengine.com/infographic