Wing, an early-stage, Palo Alto, CA-based venture firm formed in 2013 by veteran chancellors Peter Wagner and Gaurav Garg, has closed its third fund with $ 450 million in capital commitments. Wagner says it is much larger than the $ 300 million the firm raised for its second fund – and it was raised entirely.
What is interesting is that the investors agreed to return the wing Through highly uncertain market conditions? Some things, it seems, start with the team itself. Wagner previously spent more than 14 years as a partner with Excel, while Garg was a partner with Sequoia Capital for a dozen years, and institutional investors loved that type of pedigree.
The pair are slowly building their investment team, bringing in a smaller partner, Zach DeWitt, in 2017 and recently recruiting three other investment partners: Sarah Choi, formerly Google; Jake Flomenberg, formerly Excel; And Aref Hilly, east of Sequoia.
Focusing on startups that enable “modern enterprise”, which means that built on data and powered by AI, is a particularly attractive pitch, still, as companies more quickly shift to remote work and cloud-based services Occur.
Indeed, the firm has already acquired three of its portfolio companies, including a $ 150 million sale of Apparato in November last year, sales to Palo Alto Networks, a $ 1 billion acquisition of F5 Networks by F5 Networks, and Cumulus Networks. Including selling Nvvia in the last month. Undeclared word.
Icing on the cake, possibly: Wing is also a seed investor in Snowflake Computing and has participated in every round held since the company. Given that Snowflake was valued at $ 12.4 billion in February, when it ceased mass financing in February, the bet was to excite Wing’s investors, particularly with an IPO imminent. (Snowflake CEO Frank Slotman suggests the company’s next fundraising event will be public.)
We spoke with Wagner today about fund raising during the lockdown situation, an experience he called “interesting” but, fortunately, for the firm, which meant mostly university settlements, family offices and already Had to talk with the fund of the returning fund. Of the firm. While there are some new backers in the wing, he said, in recent years there has been a chance to get to know four of them, who have only one relationship, whose relationship with the firm is entirely with Zoom and other collaborative tools.
We asked if Wing had made any investment of its own while the US has largely made inroads.
He said of the four deals currently in the pipeline – two for his last fund and the first two deals for his third fund – it supports just one founder, who has not yet met in person. “You have to be very intentional, really practice your listening skills, and communicate very clearly,” said Wagner of the process, “If a founder is coming from a network of people where you have a lot of relationships , So it may be add some levels [of comfort], Too. “
With a renewed focus on diversity in Silicon Valley, both within the ranks of venture funds and within wealth-related portfolios, we also asked Wagner if Wing supported any founders of color.
The firm – which writes checks as small as $ 200,000, has the flexibility to put more than $ 20 million into a startup, and only moves forward when the partnership unanimously votes to do so – in a genomics company just A related seed investment focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder, he said.
“We can do better”, said Wagner, who joins dozens of other VCs to host “open office time” between one and four hours each week in an effort to build more relationships with students and founders of color went.
“There are some other things, and frankly, we are open to good ideas.”