Saturday, May 16, 2015

Aspect Ventures Closes Its First $150 Million Fund

Aspect Ventures, a fund started by Accel Partners’ Theresia Gouw and Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s Jennifer Fonstad, said today that it has closed its first $150 million fund.
Gouw spent 15 years at Accel Partners as a partner, while Fonstad spent 17 years at Draper Fisher Jurvetson as a managing director. They set out to raise a fund in February last year, which will be geared toward series A investments. The fund will largely be focused on security, health and millennial services.
“We believe there’s quite a lot of capital available at the company formation stage — like Kickstarter and micro VC funds,” she said. “And there’s a lot of capital for later-stage companies, from the big funds — Accel, DFJ. There’s a whole space around series A investments and working with companies with their follow-on financing.”
Gouw and Fonstad met at their first jobs at Bain and Co. about 25 years ago, and then joined the venture industry after that. The pair plan on collaborating with other funds in their investments, but do intend to take board seats.
“At the time, Draper Fisher Jurvetson was a $90 million seed based fund where we collaborated with funds,” she said. “Over time those have expanded and grown, and done very well, and [Gouw] and I really wanted to get back to our roots.
The pair have already made more than a dozen investments prior to closing the fund, Fonstad said. The firm has so far invested in companies like Birchbox, Exabeam, and The Muse — which just raised $10 million in its series A. Most of the investors in Aspect Ventures’ fund a mix of federal institutions, pension funds an nonprofits.

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