The fund, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is founded by Jim Scheinman, an entrepreneur and angel investor who was formerly an entrepreneur-in-residence at Charles River Ventures. Previously, Scheinman was the fifth employee at Friendster and the first employee at the social networking site Bebo, which sold to AOL in 2008 for $850 million. He has been independently investing in and advising consumer mobile startups since 2008.
Maven Ventures Growth Labs’ focus is on consumer, mobile and social startups. It runs what Scheinman’s LinkedIn profile describes as a “later stage incubator” program that teaches founders viral marketing and growth strategies. The program includes 12 people he characterizes as “leading growth experts,” who have worked at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Airbnb, Quora, Bebo and other companies. Maven expects to incubate and fund up to 10 companies per year.
Scheinman has had some successes already as an angel investor. Four companies he has backed have exited, with returns ranging from 14x to 37x. These include SocialGold (also known as Jambool) and Katango, which sold to Google. Companies still in his portfolio include Tango, a video calling app, and Pageonce, a finance app.
The fund will be completing its first close on capital at the end of the month. Unlike most VCs, Scheinman has said he does not plan to take a management fee for running the fund, although he will take the typical 20% share of carried interest from successful investments.
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