Wing, an early-stage, Palo Alto, Ca.-based enterprise agency that was shaped in 2013 by veteran VCs Peter Wagner and Gaurav Garg, has closed its third fund with $450 million in capital commitments. That’s considerably bigger than the $300 million that the agency raised for its second fund — and it was raised fully just about, says Wagner.
What’s so fascinating that buyers agreed to again Wing via extremely unsure market circumstances? A couple of issues, seemingly, starting with the group itself. Wagner beforehand spent greater than 14 years as a associate with Accel, whereas Garg was a associate with Sequoia Capital for roughly a dozen years, and institutional buyers like that form of pedigree.
The duo has additionally slowly been constructing out their funding group, bringing in a youthful associate, Zach Dewitt, in 2017 and extra lately recruiting three different investing companions: Sara Choi, previously of Google; Jake Flomenberg, previously of Accel; and Aaref Hilaly, previously of Sequoia.
Wing’s deal with startups that allow the “trendy enterprise,” that means workplaces constructed on information and powered by AI, is a very interesting pitch proper now, too, as corporations extra shortly shift to distant work and cloud-based companies.
Certainly, the agency has already seen a 3 of its portfolio corporations acquired, together with Aporeto’s $150 million sale to Palo Alto Networks final November, Form Safety’s December acquisition by F5 Networks for $1 billion, and sale of Cumulus Networks to Nvidia simply final month, for undisclosed phrases.
The icing on the cake, presumably: Wing can also be a seed investor in Snowflake Computing and has participated in each spherical that the corporate has performed since. Contemplating that Snowflake was valued at $12.four billion when it closed an enormous financing in February, that guess has to have Wing’s buyers excited, particularly with an IPO imminent. (Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman has urged the corporate’s subsequent fundraising occasion will probably be a public one.)
We talked with Wagner earlier in the present day about elevating the fund throughout lockdown circumstances, an expertise he known as “fascinating” however that, fortunately for the agency, principally meant speaking with representatives from the college endowments, household workplaces, and fund of funds that have been already backers of the agency. Although Wing has a handful of latest backers, he added, it had gotten to know 4 of them in recent times, leaving only one whose relationship with the agency got here collectively fully over Zoom and different collaborative instruments.
We requested whether or not Wing has made any investments of its personal whereas the U.S. has largely sheltered in place.
He stated of 4 offers within the pipeline at present — two for its final fund and its first two offers for its third fund — it has backed only one founder who it hasn’t but met in individual. “It’s important to be very intentional, actually train your listening expertise, and talk very clearly,” stated Wagner of the method, including that: “If a founder is coming from a community of individuals the place you’ve gotten quite a lot of relationships, that may add some degree [of comfort], too.”
Given the renewed deal with variety in Silicon Valley, each inside the ranks of enterprise funds and inside the funds’ respective portfolios, we additionally requested Wagner if Wing has backed any founders of colour.
The agency — which writes checks as small as $200,000, has the pliability to pour greater than $20 million right into a single startup, and solely strikes ahead when the partnership votes unanimously to take action — has only one associated seed funding in a genomics firm targeted on post-traumatic stress dysfunction, he stated.
“We will do higher,” stated Wagner, who has individually joined dozens of other VCs in pledging to host “open workplace hours” for between one and 4 hours every week in an effort to type extra relationships with college students and founders of colour.
“There are different issues to be finished, and admittedly, we’re open to good concepts.”