09
Jul

7.10.2014 Announcing Upside Partnership

I’m thrilled to announce Upside Partnership and the closing of our inaugural fund, Upside I. It is an honor to be supported by institutional limited partners with such strong track records in seed, venture, and, especially, first time funds.

Upside was born from the inspiration and encouragement of the founder community. And much the same way that these founders have reimagined entire industries, Upside is rethinking seed-stage venture capital.

At the firm’s core, is a new type of partnership. Every founder Upside backs will become a partner in the fund. They will be granted a portion of our carry and share in the upside performance of the broader portfolio. We believe this will strengthen the bonds of our founder community. Founders often receive the best advice and guidance from other founders. We want to encourage this type of collaboration.

We’ll work with purpose-built founders – people whose entire histories have put them on the path to form the companies they are building. When you ask them “Why is this idea important to you?” their answers reveal passion and expertise, not opportunism. These are the people who shape the future before most of us even see it. At the seed stage, it is people – not verticals – who are the critical factor in shaping a company’s trajectory. These are the people from whom we all learn.

It is for them that Upside wants to return to true seed investing. We want to meet founders early and help them before they build their first product. At this stage, sometimes the right thing for a founder to do is to raise only a small amount of capital. Because smaller funds are more nimble than their larger cousins, we can actively work with founders without imposing ownership or check size targets. So while there was institutional demand for Upside well in excess of the $30 million we raised, we chose to cap the fund size. This means that every company we back is important to our success.

No business can be built in a vacuum and that has been the case with Upside. Without the support, mentoring and feedback of many people, Upside would still be a daydream. Thank you all for your support. We look forward to working with you for many years to come.