Time flies – and there is nothing to make you aware of that zooming through life than memories. I remember walking into the tiny offices of the yet fully formed True Ventures in San Francisco’s Presidio, not too far from the Lucas Arts sprawling campus. I sat down for a meeting with the core team of the newly founded True Ventures and walked out with a term sheet for my company. That was ten years ago.
This year we are celebrating our tenth anniversary, doing what we have done for the past ten years — backing ideas that impact the future, and working with founders who are idealistic, missionary, and dream of changing the status quo. Today we are announcing our fifth fund — the $310 million True Ventures V and hope to push forward with what we have done so far – invest in early stage opportunities, looking beyond into vistas that are obvious and finding founders who shed light on opportunities on the far edges of innovation. “It’s an exciting time,” writes Jon Callaghan, co-founder of the partnership on True Blog. “Many of the markets in which we invest, including neuroscience, big data, connected devices, robotics, machine learning, and mobile, remain in their nascence.”
My involvement with True was first as a founder – my company was the first they funded – and then later in 2008, I joined the firm as a venture partner. Then at the end of 2013, I signed up to become a full time partner at True Ventures, just ahead of the formation of the partnership’s then new fund, The $290 million Fund IV, which has since invested in fast growing companies such as Veniam, Ring, Peloton and Zymergen.
Today the firm might have $1.3 billion under management, but in the larger scheme of things, that is not what counts. What counts is one’s ability to believe in the future, fight dogma and keep true to the values that got us here. I am excited to be part of the partnership, but more importantly, the extended True family. “It’s not about just us seven general partners. It’s about the 400 founders and 7,000 employees currently in the True portfolio,” Jon told Wall Street Journal. I couldn’t have said it better.
August 25, 2016, San Francisco