Defy Partners, a Woodside, Calif.-based early stage venture firm, has launched after raising a $151m initial fund.
Investors include endowments, foundations and non-profits.
Led by long-time venture capitalists Neil Sequeira and Trae Vassallo, the firm has been created to address the underserved part of the venture landscape — often referred to as “The Series A Gap”. Defy plans to make investments in previously consumer and enterprise companies seed-funded companies and provide hands-on guidance to enable companies to mature and scale into those ready for growth capital.
The firm aims to offer both the right amount of funding as well as real-time product support and guidance on everything from how to establish and manage a board, sell and land strategic partners, drive customer relationships and create a strong culture.
The firm’s investment strategy will concentrate on teams and technology converging around diverse ideas, underserved markets and tough challenges.
Sequeira, a former managing director at General Catalyst and an early investor in the Honest Company, Vitrue and Elemental, and Vassallo, previously a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who was an early investor in Nest, DropCam and Opower, are joined at launch by Purvi Shah, chief financial officer, and Phebe Tran, chief of staff, both of whom previously worked at General Catalyst.