Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital just became yet another of several upstart venture firms that have been able to raise progressively larger funds this year.
The New York-based fund just quickly closed an oversubscribed $150 million fund in ten weeks, on the back of a $40 million raise last fall. The normally media-shy Kushner is coy about strategy specifics except to say that Thrive is geography and stage-agnostic (meaning they’ll do anything from a seed round to a much later-stage deal, like when they went in on Instagram at a $500 million valuation days before the Facebook acquisition was announced).
“Our ambitions are to help build businesses that will transform traditional industry,” Kushner tells us. “We are opportunity driven. We invest in companies as opposed to stage or geography.” There isn’t a particular range for check size.
Existing limited partners like Princeton University and others took the majority of the fund. As Thrive is only a few years old, it’s too early to tell what the returns will be on the firm’s first two funds and Kushner won’t comment.
However, the fact that the firm has gone from a $10 million fund to a $40-100 million vehicle, and now a $150 million fund in a matter of a few years is a sign that early performance is promising. The six-person firm is in companies like Kickstarter, Instagram, Warby Parker and Fab.
They’ve also done several deals since Instagram was sold to Facebook for $300 million plus 23 million Facebook shares. None of them are disclosed, however.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kushner started Thrive while at Harvard Business School, not long after he co-founded Latin American social gaming company Vostu. He’s the son of real estate investor Charles Kushner and his brother Jared Kushner owns The New York Observer.
Thrive becomes one of many very young venture firms that have raised bigger funds within the past year. Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures closed a $70 million fund after a $41 million fund before. Another angel Manu Kumar also upgraded to a $40 million second fund in July for his firm K9 Ventures. Dave McClure’s 500 Startups is raising a $50 million fund, up from a previous $30 million fund.
At the larger end of the spectrum, Andreessen Horowitz leveled up to raising $1.5 billion from an initial $300 million fund in 2009. All of this activity is in spite of critical discussion that venture as an asset class has performed poorly over the last decade, thanks to a long hangover from the first tech bubble and limited partners that repeatedly invest without pushing for structural changes.
Nimble, well-connected firms are, ahem, thriving while older, stodgier funds fall short.