Los Altos, California-based venture capital firm 1955 Capital has officially launched with an initial close at $200m.
Founded and managed by Andrew Chung*, a former partner at Khosla Ventures, the firm will invest in technologies developed in the Americas and Europe that can help solve the developing world’s greatest challenges in underserved areas like energy, food, agriculture, health, education and sustainable manufacturing.
According to Chung, the name for 1955 Capital is related to the year 1955, which marked the passing of Albert Einstein, biologist, Alexander Fleming and jazz legend, Charlie Parker and the birth of innovators including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Vinod Khosla — Chung’s former partner.
The firm will take a cross-border investing approach. The technologies 1955 Capital will invest in
1) may have already achieved some success in the developed world, but may not yet have been introduced to developing countries, or
2) may be new and have a strong initial fit outside of North America due to intense demand, strong regulatory support, or great availability of capital and resources for such products or services abroad.
1955 Capital will work closely with portfolio companies to build productive relationships with strategic partners in China, Southeast Asia and Africa, to give entrepreneurs a chance to commercialize technologies in these markets first, and then take their innovations to the rest of the world.
*Andrew Chung joined Khosla Ventures in 2011 as one of six partners who managed the firm. He led China activities for the firm, and worked with many portfolio companies to develop successful models for U.S.-China collaboration. A fluent Mandarin and Cantonese speaker, Chung served as a board member on many of Khosla Ventures’ portfolio companies, including LanzaTech, Ecomotors, BioConsortia, Cogenra, Pellion, and Wattpad.
Prior to Khosla Ventures, he was at Lightspeed Ventures, where he represented the firm on the boards of Solazyme, Natera, LS9, Orbis Education, and Personalis.