Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the New York-based investment firm whose portfolio includes BuzzFeed, Chartbeat, and Warby Parker (among others), is announcing that it has closed its fourth fund, with a total of $62 million in capital commitments.
An earlier regulatory filing suggested that the firm was raising $50 million, and partner Eric Hippeau (at right in the photo above) confirmed that $50 million was the initial target — Lerer Hippeau was able to exceed that amount after “meeting some new LPs who were interested in backing us.” That’s a significant step up from the third fund (raised back when the firm was called Lerer Ventures) of $36 million.
Across its four funds, Lerer Hippeau says it has raised more than $130 million and backed 200 companies. The larger fund won’t change the firm’s strategy of focusing on early-stage investments, Hippeau said. However, the fund size will allow them to put more money in that initial round (he said the firm usually saves half its funds for follow-on investments, particularly in the Series A and occasionally in the Series B).
Hippeau said that 70 percent of Lerer Hippeau’s investments are based in New York City, and he predicted that the firm will continue to “favor New York”. He added that companies here have “opportunities to disrupt all kinds of sectors … If anything, the dealflow has been accelerating.”
And the core investment team will remain the same — Hippeau himself (former CEO of The Huffington Post), Ken Lerer (co-founder at The Huffington Post, and chairman of Betaworks and BuzzFeed), his son Ben Lerer (co-founder and CEO of Thrillist Media Group), and Jordan Cooper (co-founder and CEO of Wildcard).
I recently had the chance to interview all four Lerer Hippeau partners at TechCrunch’s Disrupt New York conference. In the video below, you can see them talk about adding Hippeau to the firm’s name (a move that Ken Lerer called “long overdue”), the New York startup scene, and the current media landscape.