True Ventures raises $290 mln for fourth fund

Early-stage venture firm True Ventures said Wednesday that it has closed $290 million for its fourth fund. Its focus will be on “bold ideas disrupting big markets.”


PALO ALTO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 4, 2014) – Early-stage venture capital firm True Ventures announced today that it has raised $290 million for its fourth fund, True Ventures IV. With the close of this fund, True now manages approximately $900 million in capital. True received support from substantially all of its existing investor base and welcomed a select few new institutional investors into Fund IV.
Founded in 2005, True Ventures was one of the first institutional venture funds to recognize the capital efficiency wave of innovation and the resurgence of seed investing that began in the mid-2000s. With over 125 companies in its current portfolio, True is best known for its seed investments in Automattic (the company behind WordPress), Goodreads (acquired by Amazon), MakerBot (acquired by Stratasys Ltd.), Socialcast (acquired by VMware), Assistly (acquired by Salesforce), Milo (acquired by eBay), Fitbit, BrightRoll, Puppet Labs and 3D Robotics. With this new fund, True will continue its strategy of funding innovative founders in the early-stage technology ecosystem.
True founder Jon Callaghan said True’s funds are designed to start small in terms of funding, but the firm never thinks small. “We team up with great founders on day one of their company, and our funds are large enough to build upon early success with substantial follow-on financings,” he said.
“We believe our job as venture capitalists is to invest in the biggest ideas with the potential to have enormous impact on our world. These ideas often seem crazy at the time of our investment, like wearable fitness trackers in 2008 and flying robots in 2012. Over time, however, we have learned to trust the vision of the creative founders we fund,” Callaghan said.
A key part of True Ventures’ strategy is to provide extensive community-building and educational opportunities to the entrepreneurs it backs. True’s “Founder Platform” includes communication tools, small group meetings and three hallmark initiatives: True University, a two-day “startup school” to educate employees at True portfolio companies about all aspects of the entrepreneurial experience; Founder Camp, an intensive, one-day deep dive into the unique challenges and experiences facing founders of early-stage companies; and True Entrepreneur Corps (TEC), a 10-week fellowship program for college juniors and seniors to learn firsthand what it’s like to work at a startup. Now in its sixth year, TEC has given over 70 students the opportunity to meet and learn from many of the brightest and most accomplished minds in technology.
Tod Sacerdoti, CEO and founder of video advertising platform BrightRoll, said these programs are a key differentiator of the firm.
“I can’t think of another venture capital firm that engages so fully with the community and the companies it invests in,” he said. “From events, to the founder email platform, to late-night phone calls with any of the partners, True consistently walks the walk of being founder-centric.”
True Ventures plans to continue its investment focus on bold ideas disrupting big markets as it invests out of Fund IV. The fund’s first four investments include a next-generation security product with a repeat founder from Fund II, CRM software, “ground-truth” weather stations and a smartphone-enabled sensor for home security.
“True believes in the power of the creative founder to impact our modern economy and society,” said True founder Phil Black. “As we begin to invest out of this new fund, we will continue to focus on founders of movements and products that capture the imagination.”
About True Ventures
Founded in 2005, True Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups. With four funds and approximately $900 million in capital under management, True provides seed and Series A funding to the most talented entrepreneurs in today’s fastest growing markets. With a mission to make the world a better place for entrepreneurs, True encourages each founder’s vision and has built resources to empower the employees, families and communities of its portfolio companies. The firm maintains a strong founder community and offers innovative educational opportunities to its portfolio, helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success and impact. With more than 150 companies funded and multiple companies acquired, the current True portfolio has helped create over 3,500 jobs. To learn more about True Ventures, visit