MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Spectrum 28, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focused on investing in companies disrupting long-standing industries, today announced the close of its first fund, Spectrum Fund I, totaling $170 million. Co-founded by experienced investors and entrepreneurs, Kent Ho and Lyon Wong, the fund's financial backers include a diversified group of financial institutions, multi-billion dollar family offices, and foundations from the US, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Spectrum 28 has begun investing in select sectors including finance, genomics / digital health, real estate / construction and emerging tech. Current investments include Earnest, Plangrid, Collective Health, Duetto, Vitagene and Karius. Previously, Kent and Lyon have been involved with more than 50 venture capital transactions ranging from the seed stage to growth equity stage.
Co-founder, General Partner, Kent Ho has an extensive background in venture, previously serving as co-founder and managing partner for Harbor Pacific Capital, a firm he co-founded out of Stanford GSB. He has spent extensive time both in the United States and Asia working seamlessly between the geographies. Some of his most notable investments he was involved with include Palantir, Coupang, Clearcare and Evernote.
Co-founder, General Partner, Lyon Wong has venture capital experience that spans seed (SV Angel) to early-stage (Lightspeed Venture Partners) to late-stage (Meritech). He has also founded multiple companies and is an inventor of over 30 patents. Lyon is a graduate of University of Waterloo's Systems Engineering and Stanford's GSB. His notable investments include Affirm, Blend, Comprehend Systems, NextVR and Karius.
"Venture has largely remained the same for the past 40 years," said Kent Ho, founding general partner. "Firms typically wait for ideas to come to them. While that can work, we take a different approach. While we have traditional financial institutions as our limited partners, we are fortunate to have partnered with a variety of business leaders/owners as well, including some of the world's largest retail chains, hotels, hospital networks and media properties. Each of our partners recognizes the importance of innovation and have teamed up with us to embrace that change."
Ho elaborated, "Having owner buy-in from the top ensures better cooperation at the execution level. We are able to offer our portfolio companies unparalleled access to these organizations as lighthouse clients or give them key insights into existing workflows as well as long term strategic shifts that management is thinking about at the board level."
Lyon Wong says, "To identify investments, we gather data from our network of industry leaders to determine the top problems that remain unsolved and rank them by importance. Then by analyzing the major technology shifts and trends developing, we predict when inflection points will occur. By gaining a thorough understanding of the customer, we identify startups with the best product-market fit as earliest as possible."
Wong shared, "Spectrum 28 chooses one industry or investment area per quarter that the entire team collaborates on. The firm's investment criteria goes beyond returns and we hold ourselves accountable for delivering value. Specifically, Spectrum 28 only invests if we can develop a plan to help a company do something beyond what they would otherwise be able to do without us."
The investment team at Spectrum 28 also includes Alok Vasudev and Betty Jin. Vasudev, partner, holds a PhD from Stanford and previously worked at Benchmark Capital. At Benchmark, Vasudev identified potential investments and worked with teams including Confluent, HackerOne, and Snapchat. "When you meet Alok, you immediately recognize that he is one of the smartest people you will encounter and an original thinker that gets to the core of any issue," says Lyon. Jin was previously at Uber (US and China) and DogVacay where she launched new cities and led operations. Jin graduated from Dartmouth and also has experience in investment banking and journalism. "Betty's intellectual curiosity and ability to identify strong leadership is a great asset to any team. We're proud to have her as a part of Spectrum 28," says Kent.
To deliver value to its portfolio companies and continue to grow the startup ecosystem in Silicon Valley and tech hubs in Canada, Spectrum 28 has formed key partnerships with Ammunition for design and branding, University of Waterloo for innovation, and Artemis for recruiting and HR.
About Spectrum 28
Spectrum 28 is a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley taking a unique approach to investing by supporting startups that are disrupting industries at times of key inflection. The fund combines proprietary data with its global industry network to help portfolio companies establish market leadership.
For more information, please visit http://www.spectrum28.com
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SOURCE Spectrum 28