Sramana Mitra: Let’s now talk about stage and how big is the fund that you’re investing from. What sized investments do you like to make?
Jonathan Pines: In terms of stage, we tend to focus on the seed stage. That’s not necessarily first angel money in but usually the first sizeable $1 million to $3 million round of funding. We invest around $500,000 in total between Maynard and the affiliates. In terms of how much investing we’re doing overall, we do about 10 new investments per year and then we also will write follow-on investments into our existing portfolio companies. We think of it, on a yearly basis, as a $5 million deployment.
Sramana Mitra: How many investments do you make a year?
Jonathan Pines: In total, we make about 10 a year. It’s been about 80. We have occasionally invested into the later rounds. We do those when we run across something that we really fall in love with.
Sramana Mitra: You mentioned B2B SaaS and lots of infrastructure. Do you also do B2C investments? I remember Maynard was also on the board of Yahoo! at one point.
Jonathan Pines: Certainly, he was the Chairman of the Board at Yahoo! at a point in time. We do, in fact, look at other sectors as well. We try to look for different areas where we can help not only with our team and Maynard’s experience but also with the network. As we mentioned, we do lots of enterprise.
We do also spend time with a lot of marketplace companies. The third piece is on the future of work side where Maynard was a CEO of a company called LiveOps. He also co-founded a company called Everwise, which is in the mentorship space. The final piece is we do have three investment directors who are curious about different topics. We’ve started branching out into other areas that we’re curious about. For example, last year we did our first investment into a biotech company.
We started investing a little bit in hardware and augmented reality. The way we think about that is, although many of them came from eBay and some of these other companies, they’re all involved in a lot of different technologies now. As long as we can get up to speed and try to be smart on new emerging areas, we try to do so as well.
Sramana Mitra: What about geography?
Jonathan Pines: The first piece is our team. We are usually splitting our time between San Francisco and Los Gatos. The network is also largely focused in the Bay Area. As a result of that, we found that we can be most helpful for companies that are local, which allows us to spend more time with them and make more introductions to our network. Having said that, we have investments in other areas including LA, Boston, Atlanta, Canada, and Israel where there’s a very strong cybersecurity community, . We try to visit these places on occasion.