As a follow-up to a conversation at a recent team offsite, I was curious to compare how the geographic focus of our investments has evolved from True Fund I compared to our initial investment data for True Fund VI.
Fund I (Vintage 2006)
34 Total Investments
25 Bay Area Investments (74%)
Fund VI (Vintage 2018)
25 Initial Investments (including investments in process, but not yet closed)
5 Bay Area Investments (20%)
Select Other Geographies:
Fully Distributed (2x)
Also interesting, of our 5 Bay Area investments in Fund VI – 3 are companies building platforms at the intersection of AI, robotic automation, and biology for discovery or delivery of new potential therapies in healthcare.
(To compare, the total portfolio of Fund VI has a similar market mix to our previous funds – 20% consumer web + media, 40% enterprise + infrastructure software, and 40% other – which includes categories like consumer hardware, enterprise robotics, CPG, and computational biology)
This is an interesting shift for our portfolio over the past 12 years and one we believe will continue as the current emerging technology ecosystems continue to mature and new ones start to form across the globe. (See our recent post on Toronto or our initial post on the topic related to Montana for more detail)
A core belief of True from the beginning is that great Founders are everywhere – our early investments from Fund I showcase that belief and we’re starting to see that early commitment to other geographies pay off in our performance data – both in terms of cash returns to our LPs and our large ownership stakes in high growth, high performance, scaling private companies outside of the Bay Area.
To add some additional context, two of our largest investments returns to date were based outside of the Bay Area – Ring in Los Angeles + Duo Security in Ann Arbor. Looking at our portfolio today, many of our high potential private holdings are spread across the United States, Canada, and Europe including Peloton in NYC, Tray.io in the UK, Deep Genomics in Toronto.
This trend is probably best seen with where we’re allocating our investment dollars for our Select Funds. We raised our first Select Fund in 2016 with the strategy of investing in the later stage rounds of our best performing portfolio companies. Our most recent Select Fund (True Select III) was raised in 2018 and over 70% of the dollars deployed from this fund to date have been into companies based outside of the Bay Area.
In closing, I want to emphasize that we’re excited about this continued trend and want to work with the best Founders working on the most ambitious ideas – and believe they can be found anywhere in the world.
We’re very excited about the number of new ecosystems that are emerging across the United States (and the world) and we will continue to work to discover the best Founders to where ever they are located.
With that context, if you’re looking for a strong lead for your pre-seed or seed round and you think we could be a good fit – please reach out – we’d be excited to hear from you.