645 Ventures Closes $160 million Fund III & Announces Connected Network
We are excited to announce 645 Ventures Fund III, a $160 million fund to invest in exceptional Seed and Series A companies. This is an investment strategy that we’ve honed over the past six years. We typically invest between $1 million and $2.5 million per seed round, and we can invest up to $5 million per Series A round.
We are proud to be backed by leading institutional investors, including university endowments, foundations, funds of funds, and pension funds, as well as top technology and business leaders who are joining our Connected Network of individual investors (LPs). Fund III allows us to continue partnering with early-stage visionary founders who aspire to build iconic businesses that transform industries and reach large scale M&A and IPO events.
Since we began in 2014, we have invested in our portfolio companies’ earliest rounds and partnered closely with our founders to help them scale their early-stage startups to growth-stage businesses. We have built and scaled a unique Connected Network of LPs and formed an ambitious internal team of engineers, operators, and investors to foster an ecosystem that holistically and comprehensively supports our founders as they build large, category-defining businesses.
Several of our portfolio companies have scaled to the growth stage, becoming dominant in their categories and tracking toward IPO and M&A liquidity events. 645 portfolio companies that have reached the growth stage include: Goldbelly, which makes national delivery as easy as takeout for the nation’s most iconic local restaurants and is backed by Danny Meyer; Iterable, the leading growth marketing platform for cross-channel customer engagement; Squire, the premiere business management software for barbershops; Overtime, one of the largest global sports media platforms; Eden Health, one of the nation's fastest growing telemedicine companies, and Resident, one of the fastest growing direct-to-consumer furniture brands. In addition, we have had portfolio companies acquired by Google, Facebook, Expedia, and private equity firms.
As we continue to back visionary founders, we will build on the inherent network effects of the venture capital business. 645 Ventures has pioneered an approach that unlocks and amplifies networks by cultivating deeply personal relationships and leveraging software to ensure we are prioritizing the interests of our community. We live and practice the core vision of our firm everyday, which is
“...to cultivate exceptional people, stories, and companies. We are building a vast, digitally-connected network of deep relationships that identifies and empowers world-class founders to repeatedly achieve extraordinary outcomes.”
The Evolution of 645 Ventures’ Connected Network
From the beginning of our firm, we envisioned building a diverse network that supports our founders as they scale their businesses. We created a Connected Network of individual LPs who have influenced outcomes for our portfolio companies. Having grown this network over the course of two funds in six years, and successfully activated the network to support portfolio companies through customer acquisition, strategic partnerships, board placements, and acquisitions, we are excited to publically share more about it.
A key component of our approach to building category-leading companies is to connect the best with the best. We actively link our founders to members of our Connected Network at key stages in their companies’ growth. The Connected Network includes the world’s most exemplary operators, technologists, growth stage investors, and financiers who have scaled companies through IPO and large scale M&A. This group engages with our best portfolio companies to chart similar paths of excellence. Upon investing, we then work with our founders to identify the people from our Connected Network best suited to help them achieve the desired milestones in their growth plan.
Below is a short list of select Connected Network members. A larger interactive list of the network is here.
The Connected Network is one of the many digitally and socially organized networks that 645 Ventures leverages as touchpoints for its founders during the course of their companies’ growth. The firm has built an active Founder Network to provide mutual support through challenging leadership and scaling decisions, an Investor Network of partners who invest alongside 645, and an Extended Network of industry experts who provide tactical support that ranges from scaling sales teams, becoming early users and customers of portfolio company products, and helping companies raise new funding rounds. The exceptional founders that we back not only benefit from these networks, but also join them.
Multiplayer Mode vs. Single-player Mode: An Institutional Approach To the Early-Stage
We have recruited a growing team of engineers, founders, operators, and finance experts who work as a collective unit for our founders.Our portfolio is small, concentrated, and selective, allowing us to develop a custom suite of services for portfolio companies. Our Investment and Research team produces detailed analyses and research that are shared with founders in our network., This is valuable when founders are preparing for their next fundraise and developing competitive strategies as they scale.
Our Investment & Research team is complemented by our Success Team, which serves as a gateway to our tailored portfolio services. This includes access to new customer acquisition, fundraising and growth round data room preparation, hiring support, PR guidance and introductions to expert leaders who are a part of our Founder, Expert, and Connected Networks. The Success Team not only responds to all founder requests with tangible results, but also develops group sessions with our founders and invites domain experts to share best practices.
At 645 Ventures, our purpose is to bring the invisible to life. We hold deep convictions in our founders and their visions, and we do everything in our power to be their partner as they realize their goals. Our founders receive the benefit of the entire 645 team and its network to become dominant in their industries. This is what we call multiplayer mode.
Backing Founders Capitalizing on SaaS, Infrastructure Software, and Consumer Technology Waves
We will continue to invest at the seed and series A stages, most frequently as the lead investor, and work very closely with our founders to reach inflection points that attract growth stage investors. Our new fund enables us to invest up to $2m at the seed stage, and up to $5 million at the series A stage. Our Fund III is an extension of the strategy we’ve been applying since Fund I, where we enter at both seed and series A. This strategy is honed to the realities of today’s early-stage market, where seed companies may have already demonstrated early revenue traction, and where companies can rapidly grow to series A. It is also based on the reality that there is market inefficiency at both stages, which we described in our article The Top Five Myths about Building Billion Dollar Startups.
We focus our investment strategy on 4 key themes: 1) SaaS for the Second Wave; 2) Citizen Professionals; 3) Engineering Value Chain Revolution; and 4) Personalized Consumer Technologies. SaaS for the Second Wave represents our belief that software is transforming vertical markets by changing underlying business processes, and growing addressable markets. Citizen Professionals represents how software is altering daily life by making the average knowledge worker a skilled expert. The Engineering Value Chain Revolution embodies the way software is revolutionizing how developers and data scientists write, test, deploy, and monitor software applications. Personalized Consumer Technologies envisions a new wave of consumer companies that capitalize on personalized data to provide superior customer experiences and create competitive moats.
As we continue to scale, grow and innovate in early stage venture capital, we invite founders to join our community. Together, we can bring to life products, experiences, and services that will transform the world for the better.