Higher late than by no means. So it may be stated of the Boston and New York-based seed-stage agency Flybridge, which is as we speak saying that Anna Palmer has joined as common companion.
She is the primary girl to carry the title on the 19-year-old agency.
It’s a pleasant distinction to have, and Palmer sounds excited in regards to the position, however she additionally means that as a longtime member of Flybridge’s group, the transition to a full-time place with the agency needs to be comparatively seamless.
The Boston-based Harvard Regulation grad first met Flybridge co-founder Jeff Bussgang a decade in the past as a pupil on the college, the place Bussgang teaches on entrepreneurship. Flybridge later funded the second of two corporations she has co-founded: Dough Collective, a membership group to find, purchase and save on merchandise made by girls. (Palmer beforehand co-founded Style Undertaking, which collected on-line designer clothes donations, then delivered the proceeds from their sale to 1000’s of organizations earlier than it in the end sold itself in 2016.)
By 2017, Palmer was co-founding the seed-stage agency XFactor Ventures with one other of Flybridge’s co-founders, Chip Hazard. At its launch, the group featured 9 companions altogether. Now it has 22 companions throughout six cities who’ve collectively made 57 investments throughout two funds. Aside from Hazard, all are girls who run their very own corporations. They handle a collective $12 million in property; Flybridge is amongst their restricted companions.
XFactor’s overarching objective is to supply seed funding to different startups which are led solely or partly by girls founders. However it was additionally based with the assumption that “if we as girls founders wished to vary issues, we’d like extra girls VCs, and as girls get expertise [on both sides of the table] they may develop into common companions at different companies,” says Palmer.
That thesis appears to be paying off. Earlier this yr, Aubrie Pagano, an XFactor investor whose on-line customizable shirt firm Bow & Drape was acquired final yr by a holding firm, was introduced into the New York enterprise agency Alpaca as a common companion. Palmer is the second proof level.
As for what she’ll be funding, Palmer advised us in an interview earlier this week that she’ll be investing in each business-to-business and business-to-consumer corporations and that her particular curiosity ties proper now to “startups which have some type of community-driven thesis, together with commerce 3.0, marketplaces and the way forward for every little thing financial system.”
One space she’s drilling into, for instance, is “massive marketplaces for native,” given the chance she’s seeing. As she places it, “Why is it simpler for me to purchase a Christmas decoration from Amazon than a retailer in Boston that’s 5 miles away?”
Requested if deal-making is as frantic in Boston as elsewhere, Palmer says it “completely” is, owing to startups which are now not restricted by geography with regards to fundraising. Within the Zoom period, a companion at each funding agency on the earth is only a click on away, and Flybridge is seeing it again and again in its portfolio. Certainly, she factors to 1 cellular gaming firm funded by Flybridge that “ended up having gaming-specific funds from numerous geographies in simply two to 3 days.” Final yr, she notes, that wouldn’t be attainable.
Due to the hyper-speed at which offers are shifting, we surprise if it’s a tough time to be diving in as a full-time VC, however Palmer doesn’t sound daunted. “You’re leaning on experience, which is less complicated to do in markets that you already know extremely properly and patterns you’ve seen earlier than. Between founding two corporations and XFactor, I’ve had time to develop these theses about the place I feel the world goes.”
Flybridge is presently investing a sub-$100 million fund that it closed in early 2019. Palmer says the agency — which prefers to steer seed rounds, whose first checks vary from $500,000 to $2.5 million, and whose greatest win thus far would be the database software program firm MongoDB (its market cap is $16.8 billion on Nasdaq) — is more likely to fundraise once more subsequent summer season.