Early Uber investors Scott Stanford and Shervin Pishevar are looking to raise another big fund, presumably to do follow-on investments in growth companies they had previously invested in. According to an SEC filing, they are seeking $250 million for the new SherpaEverest Fund.
Stanford and Pishevar are probably best known for their investment in Uber during the company’s Series B round, a deal that Pishevar invested in through Menlo Ventures and Stanford participated in while at Goldman Sachs. They left their day jobs last year to team up and launch a new investment firm called SherpaVentures, along with a strategic advisory firm and startup incubator called Sherpa Foundry.
Since then, they’ve made a series of investments in companies that are part of the on-demand economy, including startups like Munchery, Shyp, Washio, and Pro.com. Sherpa Ventures focuses mainly on seed and Series A investments, though it hasn’t completely ruled out participating in later-stage investments.
Representatives from Sherpa declined to comment on the filing due to regulatory concerns, but based on the information in the filing we can deduce a few things.
For one, the new raise is not related to the firm’s SherpaVentures Fund, which closed out at a little more than the $150 million they sought to raise for its first fund. It’s also not connected to SherpaFoundry, which is being run by serial entrepreneur and corporate exec Tina Sharkey.
What’s most likely is that SherpaEverest will emerge as the firm’s growth investment vehicle. That will allow the SherpaVentures guys to continue to follow-on in the case of companies that get huge — like, for instance Uber, which has raised about $2.4 billion in the last year alone.
It would also allow Stanford and Pishevar to make opportunistic investments in companies that aren’t currently a part of their portfolio when it makes sense.
Growth funds are becoming all the rage these days, particularly as early-stage investors realize their current fund structures might not be equipped to follow-on in the case of Uber-like investment rounds. In recent months we’ve seen established firms like Spark Capital and Greycroft Partners raise funds to keep putting money into their biggest winners.
But it’s interesting to see a firm like Sherpa, which is less than two years old, become ambitious enough to seek an additional $250 million, especially after just raising $150 million. Then again, once you’ve hit it big with a bet on Uber, it probably gives LPs confidence that you’ve got another big win in you.