We are so thrilled to share with you our first update for VSC Ventures. Quick refresher on us: Since 2002, VSC our award-winning comms firm has represented 475+ brands including 3 IPOs, 13 unicorns, and 50 startups that have exited. Experimenting with our own capital to date, VSC demonstrated our access into competitive rounds, investing in 37 companies, including winners like Poshmark, PAX, Tonal, Nearpod, and more. Building upon the investment processes honed through investments off our balance sheet, we've raised our first outside capital for VSC Ventures Fund I
VSC Ventures Fund Update
First Things First: Thanks to the incredible interest from LPs in VSC Ventures Fund I, we're excited to hold our FIRST CLOSE on July 1, 2021. Holding our first close allows us to start to allocate directly from the fund, and to push for our target allocation of $250K-$300K in seed deals and $500K in Series A rounds. Committed LPs will be hearing from us with instructions on the first close in the coming days.
Smooth Oper8rs We were one of 20 funds (out of 450+) selected for& Oper8r—dubbed 'Y Combinator for Emerging Managers'—where we went through an intensive 2-month program on fund operations, fundraising strategies, capital management, & LP communications. We've also built a great network of fellow emerging managers we hope to share promising early-stage deals with as we grow.
Full Team Ahead: As most of you know, Jay Kapoor joined us as a General Partner this year to build and run VSC Ventures. He was referred to us by our friend and fellow co-investor Nihal Mehta & we've been working closely with Jay for the past two years on VSC's investments so we are glad to make it official. You'll be hearing from Jay a lot, so you haven't met him yet, let's fix that!
Each update, we'll share news about investments. For our LPs, we'll follow up with more detail about new marks & material updates in VSC portfolio positions. Stealth Company — Wellness/Healthcare (Seed Stage): One of our first seed deals is a startup aiming to democratize tele-neurology to better help millions of people impacted by neurological disorders. The company is building computer vision algorithms that obviate the need for a lab setting in order to capture medical-grade measurements just from a smartphone. This company was referred to us by an existing VSC client.
Stealth Company — Automated Voice Assistant for Small Businesses (Seed Stage): Small businesses are regularly inundated with phone calls that have to get answered by live staff because customer service phone agents are cost-prohibitive for small business owners. This company is being spun out of one of the world's largest technology giants and was referred to us by a member of our VC network. We are doing a small check at Seed to evaluate them for Series A after VSC launches the company.
Relevant VSC News & Highlights
One of VSC's advantages is the incredible companies we see by virtue of the PR & comms strategy we undertake on their behalf. Highlights below are mature, non-invested, clients of VSC but show the potential of deals we could get into with the fund.
Digital smart home gym Tonal raises $250M at a $1.6B valuation. Tonal has raised from Dragoneer Investment Group, in addition to existing investors, Sapphire Ventures, L Catterton & Mayfield Fund as well as global celebrities and athletes Stephen Curry, Drew Brees & Sue Bird. VSC was an early investor & handled the go-to-market launch of the company.
Honeybook raises $155M at a $1B+ val. to help freelancers manage their business: With the latest round, HoneyBook has now raised $248 million since its 2013 inception from investors like Durable Capital, Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Norwest & Citi Ventures. VSC has handled the publicity strategy for Honeybook since 2018 and won multiple awards for our work with the startup.
Clearbanc raises at Unicorn Series C, rebrands as ClearCo: ClearCo provides non-dilute financing options to early-stage companies, and to date, ClearCo has put more than $2 billion in over 4,600 companies. VSC handled publicity for ClearCo from Series A to C and helped the company generate over $1bn in the financing of startups by helping the company develop and promote a product called the '20-minute Term Sheet'