Announcing Menlo XV
Today we launch our 15th venture fund, Menlo XV, a flagship $500M fund to help early-stage founders transform existing industries, create new categories, and build a better future.
In the past few years, we’ve seen amazing entrepreneurs build incredible companies, fueled by venture capital. Then 2020 hit. HARD! Overnight—it seemed—the world changed. People everywhere were confronted by a pandemic. Across the globe, people’s lives and livelihoods were heavily impacted. Life still isn’t back to “normal.”
But, if we’ve learned one thing from almost 45 years in VC, it’s this:
At our core, people are remarkably resilient and adaptable.
Each day as investors, we work with committed founders who identify problems, see them as opportunities, and respond by building solutions. They are nimble and responsive: When one approach fails, they try a new angle. When regulations change, their businesses adapt. When a void is apparent, they fill it.
And that’s what we see today. Not just within the startup ecosystem, but more broadly, among people around the world as we confront the pandemic. It’s incredible! The power of technology has never been more evident: Technology enabled a massive shift to remote learning and work. It’s driving rapid advancements in medicine and diagnostics. And, in a time when everything is “distanced,” technology connects us to our friends, our families, our classmates, and our colleagues. And so, we find ourselves energized by the opportunity in front of us.
The investments we make today will shape how we live and work tomorrow. Menlo XV is dedicated to Seed and Series A investments in companies spanning consumer, enterprise, frontier tech, and healthcare. The firm will continue to invest in areas of focus that include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure/Developer Software, Cybersecurity, AI/Robotics, Consumer, Life Sciences/Digital Health, and Fintech. And, trends we see have increased our eagerness to invest in specific subcategories:
Drive to digital
- COVID accelerated the shift to digital, which makes the future of work—particularly collaboration, communication, workflow automation, and productivity solutions—all more relevant now than ever before.
- Sectors that relied on a hybrid of physical and digital locations to conduct businesses had to prioritize digital. Examples include banking and commerce, and even healthcare. Importantly, as these businesses shift, many require specialized solutions for their tech stack (e.g., security, payments).
- This shift increased the demand for better infrastructure, cloud technology, and security.
- The digital transformation will be driven by developers, and we’re eager to invest in companies building better dev tools, open-source software, and APIs.
Push for automation
- With fewer of the workforce returning to the workplace, there is more demand for automation and robotics. This has been particularly evident in the supply chain, which was already challenged by labor shortages. The pandemic added stress to the supply chain as consumers shifted to grocery and food delivery along with e-commerce, but we are excited by the potential of robotics and automation to drive new efficiencies.
- Increasing efficiency requires smarter tools. That is why we are excited about the integration of artificial intelligence, particularly when dealing with large data sources, where smart AI can increase data observation and provide insights.
Healthcare takes center stage
- The pandemic has reminded us all that without good health we have nothing. We will further invest in therapeutics, particularly companies built around platform technologies and massive datasets that can produce multiple new treatments, and transformative health technologies, including applications of genomics and synthetic biology.
- Healthcare and technology continue to intersect as healthcare becomes increasingly digital. We are excited by the consumerization of healthcare and the shift from care organized around providers and hospitals to care influenced by consumers with access to data and AI-enhanced health technologies. And at the enterprise level, vertical SaaS applications are driving workflow efficiencies, reducing the cost of care, and improving patient outcomes.
This new fund benefits from the momentum we’ve captured since raising our previous venture fund in 2017. Since raising Menlo XIV in 2017, Menlo:
- Built on our firm, growing the investment team and expanding our Fuel Team with the addition of marketing and corporate/business development experts to expand our portfolio services
- Celebrated several notable exits, including the IPOs of Roku, Uber, and nLight, and the acquisitions of Jump (acquired by Uber), eero (acquired by Amazon), AVI Networks (acquired by VMware), 6 River Systems (acquired by Shopify), Scout (acquired by Workday), and Fleetsmith (acquired by Apple)
- Invested in category leaders including Benchling, Bluevine, Chime, Carta, Harness, Poshmark, and Recursion
- Raised the Menlo Inflection Fund, a $500 million fund to power early-growth companies through the venture gap
- Generated $3.8 billion in realized value
Propelled by the tailwinds of Menlo XIV, we are optimistic about the future. The team at Menlo is a small, tight-knit group. We work together to ensure that every company in the Menlo portfolio benefits from our entire team, everything we’ve learned, and everyone we can connect them to. When we are in, we are all in.