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Investor Highlight: Founders Fund

Investor Highlight: Founders Fund
August 3, 2021

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Today we’re looking at the venture capital firm attempting to solve an existential crisis in VC—what future is worth funding? The firm is Founder’s Fund and its manifesto goes deep into the origins of VC, initially as investments into technologically-challenging and ambitious pursuits (i.e. Intel, Apple) vs. the 90’s pursuit to solve irrelevant problems (i.e. companies you’ve forgotten about or never heard of). Founders Fund seeks to invest in transformational technologies, specifying the industries of Aerospace & Transportation, Biotechnology, Advanced Machines & Software, Energy, and The Internet. The firm’s strategy is one of placing big bets on even bigger visions, and on founders who maintain both the vision and flexibility to see that business grow.
 

   

The founding partners are some of the biggest names in startups, including notorious libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel and his PayPal co-founders, Ken Howery and Luke Nosek, and Napster founder Sean Parker. Peter Thiel's support of former POTUS, Donald Trump, along with ongoing political contributions, is at odds with many social progressives in Silicon Valley.

For entrepreneurs seeking investments, however, the controversy around Thiel pales in comparison to the firm’s successful track record and fat checks. Here’s a sampling of some of those recent investments.

Ramp recently raised a Round B-2, in which the two-year-old company reached a $3.6BN valuation for its corporate credit card and spending management system. The round was led by ICONIQ Capital, the investment vehicle of the super-wealthy, including Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey. 

Modern Animal operates veterinary clinics and 24/7 telehealth services for anxious pet-owners at a flat fee of $100 a year. The clinic has brought the millennial e-commerce vibe to pet clinics all over its hometown (and Peter Thiel’s post-Valley home base) in Los Angeles. Founders Fund led the $40MM Round B in July, helping the company reach a $300MM valuation. 

Sundae connects fixer-uppers with potential buyers. The pandemic-related real estate boom has made this company an even savvier investment, as evidenced by the recent $80MM in Round C funding led by Fifth Wall & General Global.

To find out more about Founders Fund check out its portfolio.
Petsitting goes public

Rover is there for all those pandemic puppies and their vacationing parents.
[GeekWire]

Another day, another disaster
The fine line between disaster porn and a hard look at the climate reality.
[
Axios]
Since last week, PrivCo has added:

1120 Companies | 134 Funding Activities | 76 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:
 

 

Modern Animal raises $40MM from The Founders Fund 

Veterinary & Telehealth • Round B • Los Angeles, CA
 

Settle raises $15MM from Kleiner Perkins

Fintech • Round A • San Francisco, CA
 

Orum raises $25MM from Craft Ventures

Sales AI • Round A • San Francisco, CA
 

Vestwell raises $70MM from Fin Venture & Wells Fargo

Fintech • Round C • New York, NY
 

Merqueo raises $50MM from IDC Ventures, IDB Invest, & Digital Bridge

Grocery Delivery • Round B • Bogota, Columbia
 

Prelude Growth Partners offers Fly By Jing growth capital

Food & Beverage Producers • Growth Capital • Los Angeles, CA
 

Serent Capital offers First Due growth capital

Enterprise Software • Growth Capital • Garden City, NY
 

Great Hill Partners acquires Labor First 

Health Care Tech • Acquisition • Mount Laurel, NJ
 

SOCI acquires Brandify 

Digital Marketing • Acquisition • Anaheim, CA


Qualtrics will acquire Clarabridge for $1.1BN

CX Analytics • Acquisition • Reston, VA

 

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