Since the launch of FUEL back in 2013, our mission has always been to stand in our founders’ corners, not their kitchens while doing everything in our power to ensure that great founders and ideas succeed. The past 5 years have been incredibly gratifying - from starting the firm while crashing on a friend’s couch to bringing on Leah as my fellow GP back in 2017. We’ve met and supported some amazing companies along the way - Katerra, Flexport, Convoy, Mesosphere, Clearbit, CTRL-Labs, Figma, Lattice, Nervana (acquired by Intel) and CoreOS (acquired by RedHat).
Fast forward to today, we are excited to announce that we have closed FUEL Fund III to continue this mission. Our oversubscribed fund secures $75M of investable capital. This brings our total assets under management to $146M (growing from $25M in Fund I to $46M in Fund II to $75M in Fund III).
The focus of the firm will remain the same; we will continue to invest at the seed stage in our core areas, including developer tools and business software as well as consumer companies, specifically consumer marketplaces. The new fund size keeps us small enough to continue partnering with the funds we have long worked alongside. Yet excitingly, the new fund is large enough to allow us to start leading investments.
With this new fund, we will focus on two key initiatives. First, we will go deeper in an area where we believe we can further earn our seat on the cap table - that is, by expanding the marketing and branding services we offer to our portfolio. We will leverage Chris’ decade-long career in marketing and branding and Leah’s journey building TaskRabbit into a globally-recognized consumer brand to build a practical and actionable marketing platform to support our founders. This skill set is unique at the seed stage and often very complementary to the skill sets of the other investors around the table.
Over the past several years, marketing and branding support has been a recurring request from our portfolio companies. We are so excited to be doubling down on resources to be able to meet that need. We’ve recently hired Jamie Viggiano as FUEL’s Chief Marketing Officer. Jamie has more than a decade of experience leading marketing organizations at the earliest stages. We are thrilled to have her on the team to help our companies define and share their unique story right out of the gates.
Second, we will remain completely dedicated to our founders and their professional - but also and importantly - their personal success. We want to be trusted confidantes always — but particularly during the challenging times. We will continue to stay focused on the founder, making their companies’ challenges our own and doing everything in our power to help them succeed.
There has been a great deal of discussion about the mental and physical toll that starting a company can have on entrepreneurs. Founding a company is not for the faint of heart. In fact, Leah has experienced the havoc startup life can have on your mind and body. We are dedicated to addressing this issue directly and building a platform to support our founders. We recently launched our ReFUEL series because we fundamentally believe that we need to go beyond the money and invest in our founders’ health and well-being, giving them the time and space to recharge — to “fuel up” so to speak — for what’s bound to come their way. We believe this is fundamental to not only sustaining our founders but also creating sustainable companies and cultures.
We couldn’t be more excited to continue our mission with Fund III. We couldn’t do so without our incredible founders and our LPs. THANK YOU for helping us get here -- you make FUEL happen every day. You inspire us and push us to be better. We will continue to stand in your corner and do everything we can to help you succeed.
This new milestone gives us FUEL. We can’t wait for what’s ahead.