That’s So Maven

Maven Venture Partners is proceeding with plans to raise its $150 million inaugural fund, despite the recent departure of co-founding partner Marc Friend. In an email and subsequent phone conversation, Jennifer Gill Roberts says that the firm already has lined up several LP commitments, and expects to hold a first close sometime this fall. My note that fund-raising was “suspended” had been inaccurate, and for that I stand corrected. 

Now here is where it gets interesting. Roberts wrote the following in her email: “We’ve recently added a new partner to the Maven team, a 20+ year serial entrepreneur and venture pioneer who built a top tier early-stage venture platform, delivered top quartile returns over multiple funds and whose success compliments our Mobility thesis.” The formal announcement of said partner isn’t expected until sometime next week, but I’ve been told by multiple sources that Jack Gill – semi-retired co-founder of Vanguard Ventures, and Roberts’ father — has agreed to join Maven in a role beyond his existing advisory position. Roberts would neither confirm nor deny that he is the new partner, and my initial instincts were that it was unlikely, given his age and home-base in Houston, Texas (even though Vanguard does have a Palo Alto office). But he certainly does fit the aforementioned bio. 

I pressed Roberts quite a bit during our phone call, but she said that she could not divulge the name because not all relevant parties had yet been informed. She added that it would not be possible for LP sources to have told me it was Jack Gill, since Maven has not yet even told LPs of the individual’s identity. Don’t know what to make of that: (A) Because multiple LP sources brought Gill’s name up to me without my prompting; and (B) Because there is no way the aforementioned LP commitments could be counted on if one-third of the partnership remained secret. 

So, for now, Maven Venture Partners officially is Jennifer Gill Roberts, George Richard, CFO Laura Gwodsen and a third mystery partner. All signs seem to be pointing toward Jack Gill, but we’ll apparently have to wait until next week.