NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Avid Ventures today announced the launch of its $68 million debut venture capital fund. Avid backs exceptional founders at the Series A and B stages who are building transformative technology companies. Pursuing a highly collaborative investment strategy, Avid partners with top-tier lead investors and takes a hands-on approach to helping founders evolve their early-stage startups into proven growth businesses. Avid was founded by Managing Partner Addie Lerner, decade-long investor at General Catalyst, General Atlantic, and Goldman Sachs, and has already made six investments in companies accelerating the credit, identity, co-working, healthcare, mortgage, and alternative payments industries.
Avid Ventures Fund I was raised in 10 months during the 2020 pandemic and is anchored by Schusterman Family Investments and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The fund’s institutional investors include Foundry Group, General Catalyst, 14W, Slow Ventures, and LocalGlobe/Latitude through their Basecamp initiative that backs emerging managers. Avid also counts 50 highly strategic founders, entrepreneurs, and investors as LPs, 40% of whom are female, including Brynn Putnam, founder of Mirror; Jonathan Klein, co-founder of Getty Images; Theresia Gouw, Founding Partner of Acrew Capital; and more.
Lerner is joined by Tali Vogelstein, a former investor at Bessemer Venture Partners who previously sourced early-stage investments in Avid’s core geographies and sectors. Together, Lerner and Vogelstein have built out Avid’s initial portfolio, which includes Series A and Series B-stage investments in Nova Credit, Alloy, The Wing, Nava, and Staircase. Consistent with its strategy of investing alongside preeminent firms, Avid partnered on these deals with lead investors Kleiner Perkins, Canapi Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Zigg Capital. Collectively, Avid’s portfolio companies have raised over $300M in total. Avid also organized an SPV to invest in the Series D round of Rapyd, a leading global payments unicorn valued at $2.5B. Lerner previously invested in Rapyd’s Series B round at General Catalyst and remains a board observer.
“We believe investing in a founder’s company is a privilege to be earned,” said Lerner. “We strive to build deep relationships early on and to prove our value well ahead of a prospective investment. Founders appreciate that our metrics-driven approach to early-stage investing helps them deeply understand their unit economics and glean new insights on how to optimize their growth engines. As part of that journey, the Avid team gets in the trenches alongside our founders to do the hard work of company building – we relish becoming an extension of our portfolio companies’ teams,” she said.
Lerner honed her experience as a growth and early-stage investor over the past decade at General Catalyst, General Atlantic, and Goldman Sachs’s Special Situations Group. At these firms she helped to deploy over $450M across eighteen investments in software, fintech, and consumer internet companies spanning North America, Europe, and Israel. While at General Catalyst, Lerner realized she could uniquely support her portfolio companies like Rapyd, Monzo, and Chief by applying her growth-stage skill set and perspective to early-stage companies to help them evolve into efficient growth businesses.
“Addie is a brilliant, hard-charging, and charismatic force within the venture community. She will win deals by force of intellect, personality, and the reputation for excellence and integrity that she has already developed here in the States, in the UK, and in Israel. Having been opposite Addie in my role as counsel to startups, I’ve been impressed to see, more than once, founders rapidly transition from meeting Addie to making room for her in oversubscribed venture rounds,” said Avid investor Ed Zimmerman, Chair, Tech Group, Lowenstein Sandler LLP (NY) and Adjunct Professor of VC, Columbia Business School.
“Working with Addie is like working with a fellow entrepreneur. She's a hustler and will do whatever it takes to get the best outcome,” said Laura Spiekerman, co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer of Alloy, one of Avid’s initial investments. Spiekerman and her co-founder, Alloy CEO Tommy Nicholas, pushed to include Avid in their competitive fundraise this past summer. “We view Addie as a team member, and it’s clear that she contributes beyond her responsibilities as a shareholder. From valuable customer introductions to being a second set of eyes on our financial projections, Addie and Avid have not shied away from the real work of building a company,” she said.
Avid provides its founders with a unique value-add offering of serving as their “Outsourced Strategic CFO.” Developed around Lerner’s and Vogelstein’s prior data-driven investing experience, Avid’s approach delivers prospective founders as well as Avid portfolio companies hands-on help with strategic growth modeling, unit economics analysis, talent recruiting, customer introductions, and business development support.
"Addie, Tali, and Avid have been an outstanding partner for us. It's rare to find an investor who creates quite so many surface areas for collaboration — and who delivers against all of them,” said Nicky Goulimis, co-founder and COO of Nova Credit, Avid’s first portfolio company. “Since joining our cap table, the Avid team has acted as an extended business development arm of the company: constantly identifying potential partners, connecting us through warm, thoughtful intros, and getting us broader exposure. Looking within, the Avid team has been an operational machine: helping us build out our financial plans and KPIs and supporting us as a recruiting machine.”
Avid’s Advisory Board members, most of whom are also investors in Avid, include Goulimis as well as Brian O’Kelley (co-founder & former CEO, AppNexus), Tom Lee (founder & former CEO of One Medical), Arik Shtilman (co-founder & CEO of Rapyd), Audrey Gelman & Lauren Kassan (co-founders of The Wing), Carolyn Childers (co-founder & CEO of Chief), Andrew Konya (co-founder & CEO of Remesh), Alexa von Tobel (founder & Managing Partner, Inspired Capital), Lee Linden (founder & Managing Partner, Quiet Capital), Michael Eisenberg (co-founder & Equal Partner, Aleph), Susan Lyne (founder & Managing Partner, BBG Ventures), Adam Valkin (Managing Director, General Catalyst), and Anton Levy (Co-President, Managing Director, & Global Head of Technology, General Atlantic).
About Avid Ventures
Avid Ventures invests in transformative early-stage fintech, consumer internet, and software companies in its hometown of New York City and across North America, Europe, and Israel. Avid pursues a collaborative approach to investing, working closely with lead firms and co-investors to build an ideal syndicate for a founder’s fundraise. Avid believes in developing long-term, authentic, and non-transactional relationships well ahead of investing, enabling Avid to run a nimble investment process. The Avid team’s hands-on approach with their founders earns them a trusted, assured seat at the table as they advise on optimizing growth strategies and help build top performing companies across categories.