New York angel investor Roger Ehrenberg is raising up to $25 million for a venture capital fund focused on “big data” startups. It will be called IA Venture Strategies, and is expected to hold a final close within the next two months.
At first blush, this is a surprising development. Ehrenberg has long said that the traditional VC fund model is broken. In fact, he and I discussed that very subject during a panel discussion at Columbia Business School, nearly one year ago to the day (we were in basic agreement).
So is this an about-face?
No, says Ehrenberg, pointing out several structural differences between IA Venture and typical VC funds. First, and most important, he is not seeking capital from traditional VC funding sources (pensions, endowments, etc.). Instead, he’s raising money from people who either are within the “big data” space, or those who could help make valuable introductions to IA Venture portfolio companies. To be very cliche about it, these would be “value-added” limited partners.