The firm had been open about the fact that it was raising a fund, thanks to new SEC rules. Together, the funds total $52 million, a little bit more than the $50 million that ffvc said it was planning. Investors in the funds include New York State’s Empire State Development, Goldman Sachs, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and limited partners who had backed the firm previously.
Why two funds? Founding partner John Frankel told me via email that ff Rose Innovate will invest with ff Rose, but only in companies based in New York State. That’s because of funding from Empire State Development, which Frankel said is aiming “to stimulate job growth and economic development in New York.”
“We are one of a handful of funds to receive Innovate NY money, and we consider it good use of public funds and hope to prove so over the life of the fund,” he said.
ffvc (the ff supposedly stands for “founder friendly”) is headquartered in New York, and it raised its second, $27 million fund in 2012. Rounds that it has led in the past year include funding for Tackk, Plated, and Bottlenose.
Frankel also said the firm won’t be changing its strategy, which he described as “finding entrepreneurs and teams we believe are building companies that are changing human behavior, and supporting them with financial and intellectual capital.” He emphasized the support staff that the firm offers (it has a team or more than 20 people), and he said, “We recognized that our predecessor fund was actually too small for our strategy and the capital was deployed faster than planned, in part due to the high growth our portfolio companies have generated and their continuing need for capital.”