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  • Pre-Seed
    Pre-Product

    Congratulations on coming up with an exciting idea and getting your initial team in place! If you’re solving an important problem with the use of advanced technology, we’d love to see your business after you’ve launched product and started to bring on users or customers. However, this stage is too early for us and we wouldn’t invest at this point.

  • Seed Stage
    Early Beta to Launch

    You’ve got direction with a product release (alpha or beta) and early market traction. This is the time to reach out to us. We will invest here when there’s deep, defensible technology. If it’s a bit too early, we’ll do our best to make recommendations, and we’d like to build a relationship with you over the long term.

  • Growth Seed
    Momentum & Product Adoption (Our Sweet Spot)

    You’re approaching early product-market fit in terms of rapid early growth in customers and users. Your product is being adopted by the market and it has true competitive differentiation. You’re also beginning to optimize early metrics relating to user and customer engagement, churn, and pricing model. We’d like to take a close look at your company.

  • Series A
    Rapid Scale

    Congratulations on making it this far! You have a strong roster of users and customers and a healthy volume of metrics to show. We’d like to speak with you. We will invest here when the opportunity’s right, make targeted intros to the best lead investors, and help prepare you for the rigor of the series A due diligence process.

Investment Focus

645 Ventures makes deeply-researched investments in institutional Seed to Series A rounds for exceptional companies who demonstrate stellar early results in the areas of market validation, product differentiation, team strength, and brand narrative.

We focus primarily on software and Internet companies in areas such as SaaS, application software, financial software, consumer internet, and online marketplaces. We make a majority of our investments in those sectors and prioritize proven business models. We make a minority of our investments in new technology areas where deep technical innovation is occurring and where we believe there is will be a large future market opportunity. These sectors generally leverage the Internet or software in a fundamental way. For these companies, we look for deep technology differentiation plus early market validation or clear opportunity for such. We invest in companies that sell to both enterprise/SMB customers as well as direct to consumers.

We consider these company characteristics as key metrics for success:

  • Market Size & Validation: We look for rapid early growth in the form of customers, revenues, or users, with a preference for revenue-generating companies. We favor markets that can rationally be assessed as large and expanding. We then consider the likelihood of attaining a meaningful portion of that market via product differentiation and user engagement. This allows us to asses the quality of business and revenue model and make a careful prediction of growth. We do not typically invest in companies pre-launch.
  • Product Differentiation: Products that solve customer pain points and leverage technology to provide outstanding customer experiences. We prioritize products that are difficult to replicate due to technical differentiation, quality of experience, and/or network effects.
  • Team Strength: Balanced, experienced founding teams with deep domain expertise. We prioritize founders who have intimate knowledge of a problem and how to solve it, developed through Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours of practice concept.
  • Brand Narrative: A company presence that clearly reflects differentiation and purpose to both external audiences and the internal team. We value driven teams with a unique voice and strong conviction, and look for ways your brand expresses this.
Likely Investment Candidates

Strong technology and metrics

Unlikely Investment Candidates

No technology or market fit

We generally do not invest in companies with the following characteristics:

  • Idea Stage: pre-product, pre-launch companies; We’re glad you have an awesome idea, but need to see proof that the technology is real and differentiated, and that you have the follow-through to execute your concept.
  • Capital-Intensive: companies that require significant R&D and capital expenditures before launching a product;
  • No Technical Differentiation: companies that do not leverage software or Internet technology as a core aspect of their product or service;
  • Unclear Product-Market Fit: companies that are still working to identify their target customer.

We Believe in You

While we understand the challenges of achieving our key company characteristics at the Seed stage, we believe technology entrepreneurship is characterized by exceptionalism. Each year, a small number of world-class founders create category-defining companies, and we partner with them to influence exceptional outcomes. We prioritize founding teams who show superior drive, intelligence, authenticity, inquisitiveness, and agility. In our experience, these have been excellent predictors for evolving a business to achieve scalable growth.

If this is you, we’d love to get to know you. If you believe you have many but not all of the above criteria, we would like to hear more and assist you in getting there.