Inspired Capital is celebrating its fifth birthday with the closing of its Inspired Capital Fund III with $330 million in capital commitments. This new amount brings the firm’s total assets under management to nearly $900 million.
The New York-based early-stage venture firm was founded in 2019 by entrepreneurs Alexa von Tobel and Penny Pritzker. They went on to raise $200 million for a debut fund and then $281 million for its second fund in 2021. General partners Lucy Deland and Mark Batsiyan are also co-founders.
Fund III is backed by institutional investors, including leading endowments, pensions and foundations.
“For me it’s sort of a real ‘pinch me moment,’ because I decided to devote the next many decades of my career toward finding the entrepreneurs that want to completely change what’s possible,” von Tobel told TechCrunch. “Venture capital, when properly deployed is actually the most powerful economic engine that the world has ever seen. And as true stewards of venture deployed properly, it is one of the most powerful ways to change the world.”
Inspired Capital leads investments of pre-seed to Series A into what von Tobel, managing partner, described as “fearless founders who are solving the hardest challenges facing humanity.” The firm writes checks between $1 million and $15 million.
It has amassed a portfolio of more than 50 companies that have gone on to raise a cumulative $1.5 billion in follow-on capital. Notable investments include property tech startup Habi, now valued at $1 billion; employee ownership company Teamshares; business banking company Rho; and Paytient, which has developed a system for making healthcare payments over time.
Like earlier funds, von Tobel expects to invest in between 25 and 30 companies with the third fund, which will be around 10 investments per year.
Inspired Capital will also continue to invest in a wide range of companies building “An Inspired Future,” which is the firm’s thesis around “innovations that move the world dramatically forward.” That could include, for example, the digitization of the industrial economy, retooling the modern workforce, the monetization layer of the internet, unlocking AI’s potential AI and financial equilibrium in a volatile society.
As part of the new fund, Inspired Capital wrote a manifesto that highlights how the venture capital firm thinks, what it believes in and what it is looking for. Among that is how the firm likes to build massive companies that are embracing very big risks and solving huge problems, von Tobel said.
“There will always be huge, meaty problems that must be solved for humanity,” she said. “We look for founders who are fearless, reject the status quo and believe the world deserves better. Entrepreneurs who want to do things that matter know that we are here, and ready and waiting to be their partners and their teammates. In some ways, it’s like going back to the studs of what venture really is.”