Adding a partner is no joke. Well, at least if you want it to be equal.
NextView Ventures announced today that it has raised a $200 million venture fund, its largest to date, split between an early-stage vehicle, at $135 million, and an opportunity vehicle, at $65 million. The fund also brings on Stephanie Palmeri, a founding partner of All Raise and former partner at Uncork, as an equal partner.
“Joining a partnership as an equal is a very strong signal to the market around how you value the people you work with,” said Palmeri, who is a board observer for Poshmark. “We don’t talk about that often in venture, but I think that it tells you a lot about what the fund values when you realize that the partners are equal.” Palmeri declined to comment on if she was an equal partner at her previous firm.
In a venture scene where “partner” has become somewhat of a vague job title — one that doesn’t always include decision-making capabilities — clarity around the track is helpful. In this case, Palmeri has the same percent of carry in the fund as the firm’s other partners, Lee Hower and Melody Koh, including its co-founders Rob Go and David Beisel. Palmeri is NextView’s second female partner since the firm launched its inaugural fund over a decade ago.
During an interview with TechCrunch, Go described how most VC firms have partnerships that take newer partners years to build up credibility and get to own an equal share of economics; NextView operates in a way that he thinks causes “less political infighting.”
The founding partner said that the firm prefers the teamwork approach instead of being a “federation of lone wolves,” adding that they’re big into “having a harmonious, no-drama and well-functioning partnership.”
But beyond the internal dynamics, NextView’s Go views Palmeri’s hire as a way to expand into the Bay Area and grow its remit beyond Boston and New York. Over the last few years, 40% of its investments were based in New York, while around a quarter of investments were based in California. With Palmeri based in San Francisco, the firm hopes to have better access to customers and follow-on capital for its portfolio company.
“If you rewind the clock way back, people thought we were crazy back in 2011 for starting a seed fund not in Silicon Valley,” Go said. After COVID, however, the partnership decided it was time to fill in the “gaping hole” of NextView’s presence in the Bay Area.
The firm boasts that with Palmeri, it is now one of the few bicoastal seed firms in the country. It’s a similar strategy than that of Andreessen Horowitz, a multi-stage firm that closed a $400 million seed fund last year. The firm, often abbreviated to a16z, recently announced that it no longer has a physical HQ, instead building outposts in Miami Beach, New York and Santa Monica in addition to its existing Menlo Park and San Francisco offices. NextView, meanwhile, has offices in San Francisco, New York and Boston, but also invests in Austin, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, DC, Atlanta and North Carolina.
Palmeri described how being physically based in San Francisco will help the firm support distributed, remote-first startups that may need to pass through big U.S. markets; “those ideas come from anywhere…[but] for those follow on dollars, they’re going to be coming through these markets as they think about raising their Series A.”
NextView may find that its geographic positioning will help it stand out in an increasingly competitive landscape. The firm has invested in more than 173 startups since launch.
The firm says that 62% of its last fund, a $100 million investment vehicle, went to minority and female co-founders. Out of its newest fund, two out of the five portfolio companies are being built by minority and underrepresented founders.