Thinking About Thinking

Independent Firms With Single Limited Partner Histories

Posted in Venture Capital by larrycheng on March 5, 2010

A breakfast conversation with Fred Wilson this morning prompted the thought of how many independent venture firms come directly or indirectly from firms that had a single or captive limited partner structure (one source of capital).  Just thinking out loud:

  • Union Square Ventures was formed by Fred Wilson and Brad Burnham.  Fred came from Flatiron which at the time was all J.P. Morgan money.  Brad came from AT&T Ventures which was all AT&T money.
  • Bessemer Venture Partners through most of its history was Phipps family money through Bessemer Trust.
  • Venrock was historically all Rockefeller family money.
  • Norwest Venture Partners was and may still be Wells Fargo money (not sure). 
  • Flybridge Venture Partners came from IDG Ventures previously captive to IDG.
  • Fairhaven used to be TD Fund which was captive to TD Banknorth.
  • Scale used to be BofA Ventures which was captive to Bank of America. 
  • And, of course, Volition Capital was formed by the U.S. team of Fidelity Ventures. 

I am sure there are many others if I just thought about it more.  I think if I continued to think about it – I’d probably be surprised at how many independent firms today have some roots in the single LP model, and I’d also probably be surprised at the consistent quality of the independent firms once they are formed.  We can only hope and expect that Volition will follow in the footsteps of some of these fine firms.  If there are others firms you know of, I’d be interested to hear about it. 

3 Responses

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  1. RSM said, on March 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    “Argonaut private equity” is another.

  2. Sexkontakte said, on March 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Guter Beitrag, danke.

  3. Jon Funk said, on February 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I was told recently by an informed source that Norwest Venture Capital is still all Wells Fargo.


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