The Final Foundry Fund
by Seth Levine
Foundry 2022 will be our final Foundry fund.
While VC firms rarely make decisions like this, it’s precisely what we planned to do when we started Foundry in 2006. From our founding, we intentionally decided not to build a legacy or generational firm —one meant to live beyond the tenure of the founding partners. Instead, we intended to focus on the work of investing, re-evaluating each potential new fund as our fundraising cadence required. For nearly 20 years now, that cadence has been to raise a new fund every three to four years. Each time, we make a deliberate decision to raise a subsequent fund. But not this time.
Choosing not to be a legacy firm is one way we’ve challenged norms in the venture industry and just one of many things we take pride in as we reflect back upon our time building Foundry. As a Colorado-based firm, we were early believers that great companies could be built anywhere and, while we’ve made numerous investments in Silicon Valley, we’ve also invested up and down both coasts and many places in between. We have always believed that venture capital should be inclusive and accessible instead of opaque and one-sided, and we have actively worked to bring transparency to our industry through our writing, speaking, and other media. We are passionate advocates for the power of entrepreneurship, believing in its ability to transform people and communities, and have tried to be supportive of entrepreneurs around the country and the world, even when we weren’t direct investors. We located our firm in Boulder, Colorado, where we helped to co-found Techstars and joined local entrepreneurs, technologists, and educators to catalyze a thriving startup community – one that has served as a model for other startup communities around the country and the world.
In 2015, with a changing venture landscape, we saw an opportunity to institutionalize a practice of investing in other venture firms, expanding upon the personal investing in venture that we had been doing for years. We launched this fund investment strategy in 2016 and built a portfolio of both established and emerging seed-stage managers who we believe represent some of the best of the newest generation of investors.
As we’ve built Foundry, we’ve had the privilege of doing this work in partnership with an incredible network of founders, operators, VCs, and Limited Partners, investing in over 200 companies and nearly 50 venture firms.
With each new fund, an early-stage venture firm extends its life by at least a decade, more realistically, quite a bit longer than that. Over the past year, as we reflected on what we each wanted for our future, we kept the original idea for Foundry front of mind. We’ve had several moments over the last decade where we thought the fund we were raising might be our last. Each of those times, after reflection and discussion, we decided to raise another fund.
But not this time. Foundry 2022 will be our last fund.
However, our work is not finished. We’re excited to make new investments out of Foundry 2022, from which we will continue to lead Series A and B financings. We are energized to continue supporting our portfolio of companies and funds. And, given the lifespan of venture funds, we expect to continue this work for at least the next decade. Our work continues to energize us, and we are as committed as ever to the mission of Foundry – building a network of entrepreneurs, investors, and LPs that benefits everyone in our ecosystem.
We greatly appreciate the many people with whom we have had the opportunity to work, especially our LPs, who have supported us along the way. We hope you feel we have been good stewards of your capital. We will continue to work extremely hard to generate returns for you. We feel incredibly lucky to have had the chance to work with so many amazing founders, CEOs, management teams, and co-investors. There’s a lot of work left to do, and we’re excited for it.