Meet Upfront

We come from various backgrounds across technology sectors as entrepreneurs, operators, and investors. Get to know us.

Meet Our Team

Our Industries

We invest in businesses that are technology led. The industries we focus on include:

DIGITAL MEDIA

We love tech-enabled content businesses, with a particular emphasis on video (we are in LA after all). That's why we were the largest shareholder in Maker Studios before it was acquired by Disney. LA is also home to some of the world's best ad-tech companies, and our investment history dates back to Overture, the first big monetization engine of the internet.

COMMERCE TECHNOLOGY AND MARKETPLACES

Given our retail history (our founders were early backers of Costco, Starbucks, Ulta and Dick's Sporting Goods), we invest heavily in technologies that support the retail sector. We were an early investor in TrueCar, a company that now helps sell more cars in the US than any physical dealer, and thredUP, the largest online consignment store.

CONSUMER GOODS AND SERVICES

There's no doubt that massive consumer facing businesses are being built on the internet today. When Upfront was founded in 1996 this notion was more of a hypothesis than a given fact but yet was core to our early focus. Today our team has a wealth of experience in this sector and so the mobile and consumer web remains a primary focus.

SAAS

One of our partners was the VP of Products at Salesforce.com, so it’s no surprise that we love SaaS companies. We look to invest in businesses that are having a significant impact on the enterprise. From early leaders in social data such as DataSift, to successful public companies like Qualys, we spend a lot of time in this space.

Where We Invest

We invest nationwide, and occasionally in Europe and Canada. We believe that big businesses can be built anywhere, and we’re not afraid to step outside of LA, San Francisco, and New York for the right opportunity.

Stage of Investment

We typically write our first checks at the Seed or Series A round, reserving follow-on capital for future rounds of financing. While we’re not afraid of the occasional B or C round, our current active fund is about $300 million – so we’re not the place to turn for your $50 million raise.

New Investments Per Year

Each of our funds are made up of 30-35 portfolio companies which means we make an average of 10-12 investments into new companies every year. We also regularly make follow-on investments into our existing portfolio.

Founder Stories

  • Ariel Kaye, Parachute

    Building a successful business from the ground up isn't easy.  It takes an entrepreneur like Ariel to be willing to carve her own path and do things others aren’t willing to do to build a brand that aspires to revolutionize an industry. Obsessed with home décor and interior design, Ariel launched Parachute to build a new brand from the ground up. Partially inspired by her travels in Italy, but also from a poor experience finding great bedding at home, Ariel recognized that buying quality home goods should be a more enjoyable and gratifying experience. Tenacious, resilient and inspirational are all words that describe Ariel and the reason why she is proving to be an exceptional entrepreneur.

    Kara Nortman

  • Morgan Hermand-Waiche, Adore Me

    Our best founders like Morgan have an incredible passion for entrepreneurship, are inspiring leaders and have a resolute belief that anything is possible. With an MBA from Harvard Business School and a family history deep rooted in the garment industry in France, Morgan recognized there was a huge opportunity to disrupt the intimate apparel space. Adore Me offers designer-crafted lingerie at a low price with the convenience of online shopping. His vision and ambition for the company has no limits and his remarkable drive for success has led Adore Me to be recognized by Inc. as one of the fastest growing companies in the US.

    Yves Sisteron

  • Jerry Jao, Retention Science

    Jerry personifies everything we look for in an entrepreneur - extraordinary leadership skills, massive dedication and an incredible will to win. Growing up in Taiwan, Jerry started his path to entrepreneurship at the age of 8, making $3 a day by recycling his classmates’ plastic cans after school. He was able to save enough money that he was able to move to the United States by himself at age 14. With a suitcase full of GameBoys he planned to sell on eBay, he ended up graduating from the University of California at Berkeley before starting Retention Science, a SaaS platform that helps brands master the art of getting customers to shop with them over and over again.

    Greg Bettinelli

  • Meredith Perry, uBeam

    When we meet with entrepreneurs we look for deep passion, unstoppable drive and a dogged determination to push the boundaries of the possible. Meredith is a very special entrepreneur who checks all these boxes and is working on an audacious plan to build a world with wireless power. Coming up with the idea for uBeam while still a student at the University of Pennsylvania, the company is building safe over-distance wireless power by using ultrasonic energy. The enthusiasm for her pursuit to ensure that one day all of us will be able to charge our electronic devices without the need for plugging them in is truly inspirational.

    Mark Suster

  • Daphne Carmeli, Deliv

    Big thinking, detail orientated, experienced, passionate, prepared, sharp - all takeaways from my first meeting with Daphne Carmeli. Having been a key player in Web 1.0 with Healtheon/WebMD and Netscape and then leading Metreo from the beginning, she has a unique and practical view for solving one of the largest ecommerce friction points - cost effective fast shipping with Deliv. Each time I interact with Daphne I am more motivated on the next thing I work on that day. That is a special attribute of an entrepreneur.

    Greg Bettinelli

  • Andrew Stalbow, Seriously

    Seriously Games was founded by two senior executives from Rovio who wanted to develop the newest generation of mobile games with the freedom to pursue their passion outside a large corporate environment. They selected Upfront as their lead investor because we appreciated their experience and passion and offered them the freedom to build something they believed in deeply - pursuing an opportunity we think can be very large.

    Steven Dietz

Ariel Kaye

Morgan Hermand-Waiche

Jerry Jao

Meredith Perry

Daphne Carmeli

Andrew Stalbow

Upfront Through the Years

1996
Upfront Ventures Founded in LA
Raised Fund I: $200M
Notable Fund I Exits:
2000
Raised Fund II: $400M
Notable Fund II Exits:
2008
Raised Fund III: $200M
Notable Fund III Exits:
2012
Raised Fund IV: $200M
Notable Fund IV Exits:
2015
Upfront Moves To Santa Monica
Raised Fund V: $300M