Freestyle.VC, the micro-VC firm founded by serial entrepreneurs Josh Felser and Dave Samuel, has raised $40 million for its second fund. The firm’s inaugural fund, raised in 2011, totaled $27 million. Along with the new fund, Samuel and Felser are announcing the expansion of the firm with the addition of SimpleHoney co-founder Joyce Kim as venture principal.
As we wrote in this recent profile of the firm, Felser and Samuel are part of an elite group of co-founders who have not only started multiple companies together but have also seen successful exits for these companies. Together, the duo started Spinner (acquired by Aol for $320 million), and Grouper (acquired by Sony for $65 million). The duo was making angel investments for some time they sold to Sony but formalized their partnership and fund in 2011.
Traditionally, Freestyle.VC focuses primarily on seed, and prefers to lead in these rounds (the firm leads in 80 percent of the rounds they participate in). Investments range from $500,000 to $800,000. Felser and Samuel are known be the most active investor a startup will have in the beginning stages of its inception. Freestyle will sometimes follow-on in startup rounds for Series A, but won’t lead. The firm now counts 43 investments that include About.me, Byliner, Chartbeat, AdStage.io, and others.
The increase in the size of the fund allows for more follow-on opportunities, explains Samuel. The size of the investments and quantity of total investments the firm will make will remain the same, he adds.
A few months ago, Samuel and Fesler has told me they were interested in expanding the leadership of the firm. Samuel says this came in the form of Kim, who had recently sold her startup SimpleHoney (which she co-founded with Eric Nakagawa, the creator of the I Can Has Cheezburger blog) to payment company OpenCoin. Kim, a lawyer, has also founded Soompi.com and was the co-host of the GigaOm show. Samuel said Kim’s entrepreneurship and her legal background made her the ideal person to join the firm.
As for the focus, Frestyle.VC model will continue to focus on internet investments in the B2C and B2B areas.
As we explained in the profile of the firm, in a world where there is no shortage of capital, VCs are working overtime to prove that they can provide value to entrepreneurs that goes beyond just a check. Felser and Samuel went into the investment world not to make money, but to actually create value for founders with their expertise and operational experience.
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