Katalyst.Ventures, a new firm led by Susan Choe, has raised $34 million



There aren’t plenty of enterprise funds which might be led by a single common companion who occurs to be a lady. Sonja Hoel Perkins is one. The longtime Menlo Ventures managing director based her personal enterprise agency two years in the past.

Cindy Padnos, who spent 4 years with Outlook Ventures as a director earlier than founding her personal agency, Illuminate Ventures, 9 years in the past, is one other.

Now Silicon Valley has a brand new entrant on the micro VC scene. Susan Choe, a longtime investor who beforehand cofounded four-year-old Visionnaire Ventures, has raised no less than $34 million for the debut fund of her agency, Katalyst.Ventures, based on a brand new SEC submitting.

The submitting states that Katalyst has secured the capital commitments from simply 4 traders. Katalyst’s web site suggests the agency’s focus is totally on nascent synthetic intelligence startups and groups.

Choe hasn’t but responded to a request for remark.

Choe had beforehand based a gaming firm known as Outspark that was offered to Axl Springer for undisclosed phrases. (She sat down with investor Jason Calcanis to speak about her startup again in 2010 if you happen to’re curious to study extra.)

Choe can be nonetheless listed as a managing director on the web site of Visionnaire, although the agency seems to not be actively investing. At the very least, Visionnaire itself started focusing on a $250 million second fund in 2016, based on an SEC submitting, and it by no means introduced an in depth on that fund.

In the meantime, as with Choe, a second managing director, Keith Nilsson, who was previously a former companion with TPG Development, seems to have one other gig. Although he’s listed as a managing director with Visionnaire at its web site, he additionally states on LinkedIn that he’s a managing companion of seven-year-old Xplorer Capital.

Visionnaire’s chairman, Japanese billionaire Taizo Son, brother to SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, additionally not too long ago moved from Tokyo to Singpore the place he now heads up Mistletoe, a enterprise capital agency that’s half accelerator and half incubator. He talked with CNBC final fall in regards to the transfer.

Visionnaire’s investments embody JoyRun, a three.5-year-old, Santa Clara, Ca.-based peer-to-peer meals and drinks supply app that permits customers to study who, close by, is already heading out to a restaurant that they like, then tack on an order of their very own. (It raised $10 million in Collection A and seed funding roughly a yr in the past.)

One other of its most up-to-date investments, made in late 2016, consists of Helpshift, a now six-year-old, San Francisco-based cellular customer support platform for companies that has raised roughly $38 million, based on Crunchbase.

We’ll have to attend and see what sorts of offers Katalyst targets, however undoubtedly a brand new fund led by an operator and investor who can be a lady can be welcome information to many in Silicon Valley.

New companies typically have far higher feminine companion illustration than at conventional enterprise companies. Within the final three years, based on current Crunchbase knowledge, 21 p.c of newly launched enterprise and micro-venture companies had no less than one feminine on the helm.

Featured Picture: Lacy Atkins/THE CHRONICLE


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