It’s been three years since Collaborative Fund launched to invest in startups in the collaborative consumption and adjacent fields. Today it’s announcing that it’s raised $33 million for its Fund 2 and adding Nexon founder Jungju (Jay) Kim as a venture partner.
With a modest first fund of about $10 million, Collaborative Fund made thesis-based investments in a number of startups that have come to define that category — companies like TaskRabbit, Lyft (then Zimride), and Kickstarter.
Altogether, it has invested in about 30 companies over the past few years, and a lot of those investments have proven to be smart bets. However, the fund size didn’t provide a whole lot of wiggle room for follow-on investments. With Fund 2, the firm should be able to be a lot more aggressive, especially as the industry heats up.
With the new fund, the firm is bringing on $33 million in new capital to put to work and bolster its portfolio. In addition to existing LPs, it’s also added new investors such as former Sequoia general partner Tom McMurray and the artist Shepard Fairey.
According to founder partner Craig Shapiro, that’s important since a lot of the value the company provides comes from connecting its portfolio companies with limited partners who can help. “We try to look for LPs to sponsor our portfolio companies in a way that can be helpful,” Shapiro says.
That includes joining boards or acting as advisers when appropriate.
One limited partner who will be making a much bigger impact with Fund 2 will be Kim, who has joined the firm as a venture partner. A self-made billionaire and one of the richest men in South Korea, Kim made his fortune as founder of gaming firm Nexon.
Founded in 1994, Nexon eventually went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange a few years ago. While still a majority shareholder in the business, Kim has decided to step into a more active investing role out of Collaborative Fund’s New York office.
While having Kim at the firm could mean more exposure to Asia-based startups and entrepreneurs, more importantly, it could help existing portfolio companies. Having a venture partner who knows how to navigate business practices in the Asia-Pacific region could be useful for startups as they look to expand their business outside the U.S.