When Collaborative Fund is looking at whether to invest in a company, it’s looking for a startup that’ll be able to accomplish some kind of social good — but also actually make money and be a real business. It’s that theory that’s led the fund for eight years, and Collaborative Fund is going to keep going now with the announcement of closing its fourth fund.
Collaborative Fund has closed its fourth fund, this one a $100 million fund that includes LPs like Quora founder Adam D’Angelo, former Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, former Sequoia partner Tom McMurray, and Indeed founder Rony Kahan. At a time when there are plenty of questions as to where the actual exits are going to happen in venture — including some kinds of creative activity by some firms or necessary ones by larger startups like Uber — Collaborative Fund is doubling down on its strategy of investing early in those companies, which has checked off a number of successful investments thus far.
Collaborative Fund raised its last fund in 2015, when it put together a $70 million fund. Since then, there’s been plenty of activity in some of its investments — perhaps one of the biggest events being Blue Bottle Coffee’s big exist in September last year. Collaborative Fund also includes investments in a number of other companies including Kickstarter, Lyft, Reddit, Quora, Tala, Science Exchange, LTSE, and Outdoor Voices. The fund led (or co-led) 13 seed rounds, including Ava Winery, Spruce, Dandelion Energy.
“Our thesis works best when there’s clear alignment between founders and investors,” Collaborative Fund founder Craig Shapiro said. “…There’s a growing acceptance and excitement for our thesis. Eight years ago it was obscure and even belittled. More people understand it today.”
In addition, Taylor Greene will be Collaborative Fund’s new partner. Green was previously a partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Shapiro said he’d known Greene for around five years (and competed on many investments, in addition to co-investing in some rounds). “It was through these experiences that I saw firsthand his work ethic, people skills, and steady hand,” Shapiro said. The firm announced it had added Lauren Locktev from New Island Capital around the time it announced its last fund.
Looking at those investments kind of gives a sense of what the firm is looking to accomplish: a company like Lyft has the potential to change the way we move around cities, reduce drunk driving, and have other substantial effects — but at the same time it has to figure out how to run it as a real business if it’s actually going to remain active. Lyft most recently raised $1 billion from Alphabet in a round that valued it at $11 billion.