Silicon Valley is full of unsung heroes: Mike Krieger, Arash Ferdowsi, interns, the TechCrunch sales team, Heather Harde and the countless engineers that keep the products we love from failing to be the products we love. One of these unsung heroes is SV Angel’s David Lee, who has served as a mentor and sounding board for almost every smart person in the Valley as far as I can tell.
But as of today Lee is a little more “sung”; In a discussion with Michael Arrington on stage at TC Disrupt New York, investor Ron Conway made it even more clear that SV Angel is actually managing partner David Lee’s fund.
The fact that Lee, who used to work at StumbleUpon and Google before co-founding SV Angel, runs the fund is perhaps the Valley’s best-kept not-secret. While Conway actually is listed as investor and not partner on the firm’s Crunchbase profile, it doesn’t stop press and others from constantly writing stuff like, “Ron Conway’s SV Angel fund,” paying scant or no attention to the man actually behind the curtain.
“This is David’s fund,” Conway said to Arrington in response to questioning about financing rumors. “But I have a huge vested interest.” Conway is still the largest investor in SVAngel, which also loops in Arrington himself as a Limited Partner, Kevin Carter, Robert Pollak and Conway’s middle son Topher Conway. “I get to come in and help entrepreneurs, I get to do what I enjoy,” Conway went on.
Interestingly enough, LP Arrington pressed Lee and Conway to comment on the “rumors” that the fund might be raising $400 million, “We are exploring all options …” Lee responded, saying that they are indeed looking for investment but refusing to give more detail.
When asked what startups were particularly interesting to SV Angel, the dynamic duo listed Pinterest (of course), Airbnb, Stripe, Square and Boku. When asked the same question of VC firms, Lee and Conway singled out Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Greylock, Accel and General Catalyst as top choices.
In terms of where he saw the fund’s investment trajectory headed, Lee said that he read somewhere on TechCrunch that the way people are shopping is drastically changing (I’m going to hope he was talking about this post) and that he is most excited about companies like Warby Parker and Pinterest that are transforming the way people consume content, create relationships, and well buy stuff.
“The sharing economy,””the open graph distributed economy,” and the “P2P sharing” model all got shout out as ecommerce movements that could soon see an influx of (new?) SV Angel cash. SV Angel’s last raise of $20 million happened a year ago last April and, with a rapidly expanding portfolio, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the “rumors” Arrington alluded onstage to are indeed true.