645 Ventures, a New York-based early-stage venture capital firm, closed its second fund, at $40m.
Fund II is backed by LPs including:
– the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
– Princeton University’s endowment,
– Spelman College’s endowment, and
– Klingenstein Fields Wealth Advisors.
– Albert Wenger, General Partner at Union Square Ventures;
– Ken Chenault, Chairman & Managing Director at General Catalyst;
– Howard Morgan, co-founder of First Round Capital and Chairman of B Capital;
– Scott Maxwell, founder of OpenView Ventures;
– Neil Mehta, founder of Greenoaks Capital;
– Ben Levin, co-founder of Level Equity;
– Neil Malik, founder of K1 Capital;
– Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments;
– Bill Lewis, co-chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard;
– Greg Pass, former CTO of Twitter;
– Cathie Black, former CEO of Hearst Magazines;
– Mark Patterson, co-founder of Matlin Patterson; and
– Al Zollar, Board of Directors at Red Hat and Executive Partner with SIRIS Capital.
The new vehicle will invest in SaaS, Infrastructure software, online marketplaces and digitally-native consumer brands.
Founded in 2014 by Nnamdi Okike and Aaron Holiday, the firm invests in software and Internet companies in the seed to Series A stages.
The firm uses an outbound investing approach at the early stage, leveraging software – called Voyager – developed in-house to augment its network.
645 also helps companies scale to the growth stage through its OPS team and platform.
Okike spent eight years as an investor at growth equity firm Insight Venture Partners, where he worked on investments with a combined exit value of over $5 billion. Holiday, a computer scientist who worked at Goldman Sachs and played an important role in launching Cornell Tech’s billion-dollar tech campus in New York City, realized that applying software to venture capital could improve operations of an early-stage investment firm, allowing it to operate at a larger scale than historically possible.
In addition to an Investment & Research team and Engineering team, led by CTO-in-Residence Blake Jennelle, 645 also built the 645 OPS internal operations team, which, led by Vice President & Head of Story Dessy Levinson, supports the GPs’ efforts in winning deals and adding value to portfolio companies by activating the network, combined with support for strategic growth that encompasses customer acquisition, fundraising, branding, and organizational scale.
Fund I, which closed in 2016, has already realized four liquidity events, including Fly Labs (acquired by Google), Source3 (acquired by Facebook), ALICE (majority transaction by Expedia), and Abacus Labs (acquired by Certify).
Other backed seed stage startups included Goldbely, MM.LaFleur, Overtime, FiscalNote, and Iterable.