With a new general partner and without Alexis Ohanian, Initialized Capital garners $230 million for fund five
Initialized Capital, the early-stage venture firm that got its start inside of Y Combinator almost a decade ago and spun out of the organization roughly five years later, has closed its newest fund with $230 million in capital commitments, cofounder Garry Tan announced on Medium earlier today.
The fund, its fifth, brings the assets that the San Francisco firm is managing to $770 million.
Tan also announced that Initialized has a new general partner in Brett Gibson, with whom Tan has partnered with time and again in the past. Specifically, Gibson co-founded with Tan the blog platforms Posthaven and Posterous. He and Tan also later wrote software for Y Combinator, building the organization’s internal software systems.
Initialized has been much in the news recently. We had the chance to talk with Tan just last month for at TechCrunch event organized for our Extra Crunch readers, and we discussed a few of the biggest mistakes that startups tend to make.
This editor also talked back in March with Tan and Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit cofounder and later Y Combinator partner with whom Tan, also a former YC partner, had founded Initialized. The two talked at the time about the importance of founders finding a way to eke out 18 months of runway on the assumption that the pandemic could take a while. While they gave no indication that they’d be parting ways, that’s exactly what happened more recently, with Ohanian deciding to raise his own pre-seed stage fund (reportedly with a $100 million-plus target), and Tan forging ahead with Initialized.
Asked about this last month, Tan told us that “Alexis isn’t leaving the firm, he’s stepping into a board partner role, so all of the existing portfolio companies are going to continue to have him [involved].” Tan added he has “never seen anyone” identify promising startups when it’s “just an idea and a team and before there’s even a product” . . . “better than Alexis has,” adding that the split is “really about setting each other up for success.”
If there’s more to the story, investors don’t seem to mind, given some of the early returns they are poised to see thanks to early bets led by Tan on some very well-known companies including the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase and the grocery delivery company Instacart. The firm has also seen the rapid rise of two other companies, the telemedicine startup Ro and the HR systems provider Rippling, both now so-called unicorns.
The firm has remained active in recent months, writing follow-on checks to Bodyport, a San Francisco-based digital health company focused on the detection and management of heart disease (it just closed a Series A round), and Truepill, a San Mateo, Ca.-based online pharmacy that’s expanding into telehealth (and recently closed a Series B round.)
Initialized also recently co-led a round for Shelf Engine, a five-year-old, Seattle-based company that optimizes the process of stocking store shelves for supermarkets and groceries.
Initialized closed its fourth fund with $225 million just shy of two years ago.