Our Investment in Kindred Ventures

by Jaclyn Hester

We are pleased to share Foundry Group’s investment in Kindred Ventures’ new fund, which they just announced this morning. Based in the Bay Area, Kindred is an “earliest-stage” venture capital fund managed by partners Kanyi Maqubela and Steve Jang. They take a hands-on approach and work closely with founders at the earliest stages—from formation to seed, especially adding value in the areas of product development and talent. Kindred’s investment strategy is sector agnostic, but is largely driven by several themes: marketplaces, SaaS, decentralized networks, consumer services, and frontier technologies. 

Steve has been an angel/seed investor since 2009. He formed Kindred Ventures in 2014 to invest his personal capital and has since invested in over 50 startups. He was a founding advisor and investor to Uber, and an early investor to many other major tech companies including Coinbase, Postmates, Poshmark, Zymergen, and Blue Bottle Coffee. He has co-founded, or served on the early founding team of, several tech companies throughout his career, including imeem (acquired by Myspace), SoundTracking (acquired by Rhapsody), and Bitski. Kanyi was previously a partner at Collaborative Fund in New York, where he led early investments in over 30 startups, including Tala, Earnest, Particle, Zendrive, and JUST. Prior to venture capital, Kanyi also spent several years as a co-founder and operator at startups in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

After working closely together on Heartbeat Health (a shared investment that Kanyi also co-founded), Kanyi and Steve found that they were kindred spirits both to each other and the founders they back. They began investing together in 2018 and officially launched the new VC fund with the support and backing of LPs in 2019. 

We initially met Kanyi in 2016 through our network of emerging VCs in New York and our partner fund, USV. Like most who meet him, we were immediately drawn to Kanyi. He has a certain spark and magnetic quality that we love to see in GPs, and is also incredibly thoughtful and a prolific writer on the subject of innovation and democratizing access. We worked closely with Kanyi as he began to think about starting a new type of venture firm and partnering with Steve, who brings over 20 years of experience and relationships in Silicon Valley. We enjoyed getting to know Steve and spending time with the Kindred team in the early days of developing their strategy and fund model. We were even more intrigued by Steve as we called around and heard from founders and investors just how incredibly valuable he is as an investor and advisor, especially when it comes to product and the founder journey. 

We’re thrilled to partner with this team and the deep network of next-generation talent they are tapping as they build Kindred. We look forward to overlapping with them in our Marketplace, Protocol, Glue, and Human Computer Interaction themes.