Collaborative’s next step

Today is an exciting day at Collaborative Fund. First I’d like to welcome our newest partner – Lauren Loktev.

Over the past three years, we’ve had a chance to work directly with Lauren in multiple capacities, including co-investing alongside one another. Her intelligence is off the charts. Her sharp analytical skills, moral compass, and track record complement our team and will help us better compete.

Put simply, if I were starting a company today, I would want her in my corner. We think she is a perfect fit for the entrepreneurs we want to work with, and the sectors we want to participate in.

In addition, we are excited to announce Collaborative III: a $70 million fund.

This new fund is a small step toward our big goal of creating the dominant source of capital for creative entrepreneurs who are pushing the world forward.

Collaborative Fund is itself a start-­up. Founded four and a half years ago, we set out to align our business model with a view, not five or 10 years into the future, but 20 or even 50 years from now. From this perspective, we are still very young. Our long-term perspective informs every decision we make, from the structure of our funds and limited partners, to team makeup and which entrepreneurs we back.

So what does this next step look like? First of all, we are still hungry underdogs eager to prove ourselves worthy partners to our portfolio companies and investors. We care about diversity in thinking and believe in new approaches to venture financing.

Our team has grown, and our investment thesis has evolved. We are obsessed with aligning our interests. At our core, we believe that the best businesses will align self-interest with the broader interest of society. If it is good for the world and good for me, it is hard to beat. On a more practical level, we manifest this thesis in three core buckets:

Collaboration as a lever:​ We like businesses where technology enables people to connect, create, and contribute resources with greater efficiency than ever before. Kickstarter and Lyft exemplify this tenet.

Values as a weapon:​ We like businesses whose mission stands out among the competition, and who lead with their values when competing with the incumbents. Hampton Creek and Etsy stand out as examples we admire, as do AltSchool and Buffer.

Superior brand and user experience:​ We love businesses that understand evolving consumer behavior and obsess over the user experience. Sweetgreen, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Simply Gum all feel, to us, like manifestations of this trend.

Tremendous opportunity lies in each of these categories, particularly at their intersecting points. We also think that the time is ripe to invest in New York City. This may be the greatest city in the world, and we are bullish on the emerging ecosystem of talent, businesses, and industries.

It is with great excitement, and some nervous anticipation, that we take this next step. If we are new to you, we are eager for your support. For the old friends, we are grateful that you have stuck around.