Craft Ventures, the venture firm launched in 2017 by serial entrepreneur David Sacks, has closed its second fund with $500 million in capital commitments, an amount the firm was said to begin targeting roughly a year ago.
Craft’s debut fund had closed with $350 million.
The outfit — which Sacks runs with other serial entrepreneurs Bill Lee (Remarq, Social Concepts), Jeff Fluhr (StubHub, Spreecast) and Sky Dayton (who has founded and co-founded a lot of companies) — invests in series seed, A and B rounds, in a wide range of companies that neatly fit into each investor’s wheelhouse.
For his part, Sacks, who was the COO of PayPal before founding the genealogy website Geni.com, then Yammer, is focused on both consumer and enterprise startups as long as they can go viral.
His signature bet at Craft is Bird, the e-scooter company whose Series A round Craft led. (Bird founder Travis VanderZanden announced the company’s Series D round of $275 million at a $2.5 billion valuation during our recent TechCrunch Disrupt event.)
Fluhr focuses on marketplaces and e-commerce startups, and the firm cites as one of his more prominent deals the Series A round of the nursing marketplace Trusted Health. Lee is focused on breakthrough technologies and counts among his investments the esports company Cloud9, a company that went on to raise $50 million in Series B funding last year (and is probably due to announce yet another round soon).
Meanwhile, Dayton — who is very notably a co-founder with Travis Kalanick in CloudKitchens, the dark kitchen company that’s literally trying to take over the world— focuses on so-called hard tech, drawing on his experience of launching the dial-up pioneer EarthLink, along with the Wi-Fi service provider Boingo Wireless.
All four have impressive portfolios as angel investors, including bets on Affirm, Airbnb, Facebook, Houzz and Slack, though naturally, they’ve also backed startups that haven’t proved winners. An investment in the HR payroll startup, Zenefits proved particularly trying for Sacks, who acquired a sizable stake in the company and — when its founding CEO, Parker Conrad, was ousted amid a regulatory scandal — stepped in to try to fix its errant ways. (He left after less than a year at the helm.)
It’s too soon if they’ll have as much success as a team, but some of Craft’s more recent bets include Terminal, a San Francisco-based startup that helps companies to source and manage remote engineers in international locations; it raised $17 million in funding just last month.
Another is Superplastic, a year-old, Burlington, Vt.-based maker of limited-edition art toys that’s trying to turn two of its characters into animated digital media stars. It raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Craft in the summer.
At the firm’s outset, blockchain was a major theme, though Craft appears to be fast-evolving into an outfit that invests far more broadly.
It may have been too early. At least, Harbor, a decentralized compliance protocol that aims to standardize the way crypto securities are issued, was a deal that Craft announced around the same time that it was itself launching publicly. But Harbor’s founders have since left the company to start Internal, a startup that wants to help companies better manage their internal consoles so they can ensure that not everyone on staff has access to sensitive data.
Internal closed on $5 million in seed funding led by Craft last month, a deal we wrote about here.