Founder Circle Capital, a nine-year-old San Francisco-based investment firm that contracts with private, enterprise-backed firms to buy some proprietary stock options for their founders and employees – so they can buy a home or just breathe a little more easily – new $355 Closing its latest fund with a million-dollar capital pledge, bringing the firm’s total assets to about $1 billion bringing. Not surprisingly, the apparel is much more competitive than ever before – both secondary investment firms, aggressive teams like Tiger Global that regularly acquire secondary in firms, as well as special purpose acquisitions firms that are running companies much faster and reducing cash outsourcing through private sales. – It is introducing a new twist to its business.
In particular, according to both co-founder Ken Loveless and the organization’s chief public officer, Mark Dempster, the Founders Circle is now also providing startups with so-called flexible capital. We talked to Loveless and Dempster late last June about the new fund through Zoom and what they see there. Follow the parts of that chat edited for length and clarity. KL: We have raised three main funds. This is our third, but we have raised something like 17 entities, [including] some co-investment cars and special purpose vehicles to invest in some of our companies.
MD: [We now propose] a mix of primary and secondary [investment dollars] and we can provide [these] at any time and in any combination]. This [investment] financing should not occur during a specific [individual] round; we can be involved in eight to ten different investments [affiliated with the company].
KL: No significant change. Our portfolio company came out publicly on the 16-year-old UiPath and if you think about how much your life has changed in that kind of time; it would be quite a long list. We also had [partnerships] at DoorDash and Poshmark, and for both of you when you founded and openly look at the intervening period of business, it was close to a decade.
So [there is some market acceptance for companies] that are really two years or three years old, on average [at the time of launching into a publicly traded company] still an average of 10-plus years.