Felicis Ventures Raises First Institutional Fund

$40 Million Super Angel Fund to Focus on Early Stage Companies with Breakthrough Internet and Mobile Technologies

Aug 16, 2010, 08:00 ET from Felicis Ventures

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Felicis Ventures, founded four years ago as an angel fund by Aydin Senkut, today announced its first Institutional Fund in the amount of $40 million.  While most venture funds are delaying or shrinking their fund-raising, Felicis Ventures was oversubscribed by 33 percent with an investor syndicate that's more than 90 percent institutional.

"Felicis Ventures will continue to invest in groundbreaking startups in the consumer Internet and mobile sectors where there is room for tremendous growth," said founder and Managing Director Aydin Senkut.  "In the past we have correctly identified big winners in key markets ahead of most other players – great examples include Mint in online finance, Brightroll in video monetization, Powerset and Aardvark in search and Meraki in infrastructure. With this new fund, we plan to expand our reach in two ways: fast growing horizontal markets such as mobile applications and e-commerce, in addition to Internet and mobile companies in four verticals – education, healthcare, personalized medicine and energy conservation. In those four sectors, the market potential is in the tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars."

Felicis Ventures has made over 60 investments in seed stage consumer Internet and mobile companies to date, and within the last 12 months, more than a dozen have been sold. In total, 15 Felicis Ventures start-ups have been acquired by companies like Google, Microsoft, Disney, Intuit, AT&T, Twitter and IAC. The speed of these exits is notable – all happened within four to 44 months of Felicis Ventures' original investment. To put it in perspective, Dow Jones, Venture Source & Campton Capital report that most venture funds took, on average, six to nine years to bring exits to their investors in the last five years.

Recently named to BusinessWeek's list of top angel investors, Senkut is deeply committed to founder success.  "It's an incredible privilege to witness our founders realize their dreams of creating world-class businesses," said Senkut. "As an institutional fund, we can now play a bigger, more significant role in their development."

Felicis Ventures' strong track record and Senkut's reputation attracted institutional investors Flag Capital and Weathergage Capital. Individual investors include technology innovators Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal and Facebook board member), Joshua Schachter (founder of MemePool and Delicious), and Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail and co-founder of Friendfeed).

"Our knowledge of the micro-VC universe is extensive and in our view, Aydin's experience, reputation and accomplishments clearly position him as one of the top practitioners in this space," said Judith Elsea of Weathergage Capital. 

Felicis Ventures stands out in the venture community for remaining closely aligned with founders' interests. In that vein, it is creating a Founders Advisory Board, with Paul Buchheit and Joshua Schachter  being two of its first members.

"Aydin and I worked together at Google in the early days and we were some of the first investors in Mint. He is passionate about helping the founders he backs and he's great at spotting teams and technologies that are destined for success," said Paul Buchheit.

"Aydin immediately saw the vision we had for the company and the product," said Matt MacInnis, founder and CEO of Inkling. "His own operational experience, together with his ability to bring other key investors to the table, have made him an invaluable resource."

"Felicis Ventures is a partner in the truest sense of the word," said Ryan Howard, CEO and chairman of Practice Fusion. "Aydin is one of the smartest, most dedicated people I have ever worked with and his counsel has been invaluable. He brings thoughtful and pragmatic insights, which has assisted Practice Fusion in every stage of development. His involvement has been key to our success."

About Felicis Ventures:

Founded in 2006 by Aydin Senkut, Felicis Ventures is a super angel fund backed by institutional as well as high profile individual investors. It is focused on supporting the best and brightest technology entrepreneurs with capital, mentorship and connections. Felicis Ventures' portfolio is comprised of innovative mobile and consumer Internet companies including Brightroll, Bump, Crowdflower, Erply, Imageshack, Meraki, Milo, Posterous, Rapleaf and Richrelevance. Recent exits include Aardvark (acquired by Google), GeoAPI (acquired by Twitter), Mint (acquired by Intuit), Mob.ly (acquired by Groupon), Mochi Media (acquired by Shanda Games), Plusmo (acquired by AT&T), Powerset (acquired by Microsoft) and Tapulous (acquired by Disney). For more information, visit http://www.felicisvc.com/.  

SOURCE Felicis Ventures