We’re proud to announce that we’re investing out of a new $225 million early stage venture capital fund that had a single, oversubscribed close. We’ve added some world-class institutional investors who are as committed as we are to the long journey ahead. Our community of founders has gotten us here and this 4th fund will be marked by even more improvements to the service we provide founders through product and people.
Garry Tan and I had big ambitions when we started this fund and they’ve only gotten bigger. Initialized was a $7 million fund in 2012, a $40 million fund in 2013, then a $125 million fund in 2016, and now it’s $225 million today. All in, we now have over half a billion dollars in assets under management.
Every VC talks about “doing things differently,” but we’ve focused on two things in particular. First, we’ve built a team of eight partners who are top-tier operators in all the things an early-stage startup needs. Then, we’ve also built software to help us run the operations of the fund in a better, cheaper and faster way—just like we’d expect of any startup we invest in.
Founders are consistently impressed by the team we’ve built, which can help with design, product, engineering, marketing, community, public relations, legal, finance, and operations, and how they are leveled up by our internal software. We’re obsessed with building the most founder-centric platform for our companies.
When Garry announced Fund III, our goal was to do those two things and be among the first investors to back and support world-changing founders along the way. We’re not the folks you come to after you have product-market fit. We’re the ones who back you when you have a team, a working prototype, and idea. All six of the billion dollar companies we funded were at that stage — long before “hockey stick” growth!
Garry brings this up often when he talks about the vision for Initialized: we believe there are many smart people capable of founding companies, with many important problems to solve and we have the opportunity (and responsibility) to find and fund them before anyone else does.
This is contrary to the conventional view that there’s too much capital chasing too few deals in tech. We believe Initialized should exist because there are a lot of big problems that need solving and there are actually many, many more founders out there who are capable. We’re entrepreneurs first. And game recognizes game, so it doesn’t take us long to sit down with a first-time founder focused on building and realize she has what it takes.
We believe our job is to do no harm, that this is not a zero-sum game, and that we can keep growing our pie by obsessing over being the investors we wish we’d had when we were starting out: high integrity, straight-talking doers. We’re doing this because we know technology can solve a lot of the big problems we have in this world and we’re uniquely positioned to do it.
Transitioning full-time to Initialized in the beginning of this year has allowed me to begin scaling my impact beyond just one company (Reddit) but to dozens. I am certain that we have a unique opportunity at Initialized to create a massive platform for founders obsessed with solving some of the biggest problems. It’s a privilege to work alongside founders who are on the front lines of this innovation.