Techstars Closes $150M Seed and Early Stage Fund
Techstars has closed a $150 million third fund to make seed and early stage investments, the Boulder, CO-based startup accelerator announced Wednesday.
Techstars co-founder and CEO David Cohen said the fund will be focused on investing on startups that have graduated from the accelerator or have other ties to the program. According to its website, 484 companies have gone through a three-month Techstars program.
“With this new fund, we will continue to thoughtfully co-invest alongside the broader venture community in companies that are part of the Techstars ecosystem of founders, alumni, and mentors,” he wrote.
Collectively, the companies that comprise the Techstars “ecosystem” have raised more than $5 billion in venture capital and have a combined enterprise value of more than $42 billion, Cohen wrote.
Techstars began in Boulder in 2007 with a focus on connecting entrepreneurs with mentors as they learned the ropes about running a startup, raising money from investors, and developing products. Its founders are Cohen, Foundry Group managing director Brad Feld, Techstars president and managing partner David Brown, and Jared Polis, the serial entrepreneur who now represents Boulder in Congress.
This is the third venture fund Techstars has raised. The first was a $5 million fund in 2009, and the second a $25 million fund in 2012.
Cohen declined to name who invested in the fund or how many people and firms invested, but he did say it was “an institutional base.”
Cohen said in an e-mail that Techstars now manages $265 million in funding overall. There’s the $180 million in three venture funds, and the remainder is focused on the individual Techstars programs.
While this is the first time Cohen has spoken publicly about the fund, technically it isn’t new. In late 2013, he began raising money for a new Bullet Time Ventures fund, as was reported at the time. Cohen started Bullet Time Ventures to make seed and early stage investments and frequently invested in Techstars startups and also in companies without ties to the accelerator, such as Uber and Twilio. Cohen said that changing the name to link it to Techstars is a rebranding of that fund.
Four other partners will run the fund along with Cohen. One is Mark Solon, who has been a Techstars general partner since 2012. During that time, his area of expertise has been capital formation. Prior to Techstars, Solon was general partner of Highway 12 Ventures, a Boise, ID-based early stage investment firm that backed a number of Techstars grads, including SendGrid, Orbotix, and Kapost.
The three new partners are Nicole Glaros, Ari Newman, and Jason Seats. All three have histories with Techstars. Glaros has been with Techstars since 2009 and is the longtime managing director of the Boulder program. She’s also helped run the accelerators in New York and Texas.
Newman was the founder of Filtrbox, a startup that was a member of the inaugural Techstars class in 2007 before being acquired by Jive Software. Since 2011 he has worked with Techstars, focusing on helping alumni companies and other venture funds.
Seats has managed Techstars Austin and Techstars Cloud, which is in San Antonio, TX. He founded Slicehost, which Rackspace bought in 2008.
The fund is based in Boulder and has offices in Austin, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, San Diego, and Seattle.