Stage of Investment
We typically write our first checks at the Seed or Series A round. We like to invest $500k - $1.5 million in Seed rounds, and $2 to 5 million in Series A rounds, reserving follow-on capital for future rounds of financing. While we’re not afraid of the occasional B or C round, our two active funds are about $200 million each – so we’re not the place to turn for your $50 million raise.
Where We Invest
We invest nationwide, and occasionally in Europe. 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.
We only do investments that are technology led. This includes:
Digital Media & Ad-Tech
We love technology-enabled content businesses, with a particular emphasis on video (we are in LA after all). That's why we're the largest shareholder in Maker Studios, which produces more internet video views than any other independent studio. 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.
Given our retail history (our founders were early backers of Costco, Starbucks and Dick's Sporting Goods), we invest heavily in technologies that support the retail sector. We're an early investor in TrueCar, a company that now helps sell more cars in the US than any physical dealer.
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. While today we invest across several other investment themes, the consumer web remains a primary focus for Upfront, playing into both our interest and experience.
One of our partners was the VP of Products at Salesforce.com, so it’s no surprise that we love SaaS companies. From early leaders in social data such as DataSift, to successful public companies like Qualys, we spend a lot of time in this space.
Bottom Line - We're a VC.
While there are areas in which we have years of industry experience and expertise, our goal is to invest in the highest-potential entrepreneurs. As long as your business is technology enabled, we want to hear why it's going to transform an industry.