Maveron, a venture capital fund co-founded by Starbucks mastermind Howard Schultz, has closed on another $180 million to invest in early-stage consumer startups.
The capital represents the firm’s seventh fundraise and largest since 2000. To keep the fund from reaching mammoth proportions, the firm’s general partners said they turned away more than $70 million amid high demand for the effort.
“It takes discipline to do something different from the rest of the herd, but we know that we’re not in the business of AUM, we’re in the business of generating cash-on-cash returns,” they wrote. “We know in this market it is hard to adhere to the idea that size is the enemy of performance but we believe in that truth here.”
In a phenomenon dubbed “The SoftBank Effect,” early- and late-stage venture firms have upped the ante when it comes to the size of their funds. Andreessen Horowitz, for example, recently brought in a fresh $2.75 billion to invest in startups, its largest pool to date.
Maveron was launched in 1998 by Schultz and Dan Levitan, a former managing director of investment firm Wertheim Schroder & Co. Schultz, currently considering a presidential run, is no longer actively involved in the firm. Maveron is known for recent bets in startups such as Allbirds, Everlane, General Assembly, Modern Fertility and Eargo.
Fund VII will be led by a team of six, including Levitan, Jason Stoffer, Anarghya Vardhana, David Wu, Cat Lee and Natalie Dillon. Split equally by gender, Maveron says its diversity gives them an edge.
“We’re able to see things others can’t because of our balanced team,” they said. “Last year, 70% of the founders we backed were women and all of those founders were also CEO or co-CEO. Beyond gender diversity, we also have someone on the investment team in every decade of their lives from their 20s to their 60s. That perspective marries the experience and scars of living through multiple market cycles with youthful optimism and connectivity to today’s tastemakers and trends.”
Maveron invests exclusively in consumer startups, with an eye for founders who are “unapologetically non-normal,” who value relationships over transactions, profit and purpose, and who “win the right way.”