New partnership with Thomas Weisel Partners and others completes Garage transition to seed-stage and early-stage venture fund
PALO ALTO, CA – March 30, 2006 – Garage Technology Ventures, a seed-stage and early-stage venture fund, today announced the creation of Garage Technology Ventures I, LP. Thomas Weisel Global Growth Partners is the lead investor in the fund, which also includes Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Silicon Valley Bank and E*Trade, among others, as limited partners. The fund complements an earlier fund that Garage raised in 2002, called the Garage California Entrepreneurs Fund, LP, in which CalPERS is the lead investor. The primary purpose of the new fund is to co-invest with the Garage California Entrepreneurs Fund.
Cliff Meijer, managing partner at Thomas Weisel Global Growth Partners, said in announcing the new partnership, “We are looking for top tier managers addressing venture opportunities that are not already covered by our current fund investments. We are delighted to support the Garage team’s focus on seed-stage and early-stage technology companies.”
“This represents the beginning of the next stage in the evolution of Garage,” said Guy Kawasaki, managing director and co-founder of the firm that was originally known as garage.com. “We’re delighted by the trust Thomas Weisel Partners and CalPERS have shown in us as we try to fill the gap that the venture industry has left at the seed-stage level.”
When Garage started in 1998, it operated as a “venture accelerator,” helping entrepreneurs raise venture capital and launch their startups. The firm became well-known around the world for its how-to conferences for entrepreneurs, “Bootcamp for Startups” and, more recently, its “Art of the Start” conference. In 2001, with a dramatically changed venture market, Garage changed its name to Garage Technology Ventures and changed its business model to include direct investing through its new venture fund.
“We saw an opportunity to apply the experience and network that we developed in the world of entrepreneurship and venture capital to expand Garage as a premier seed-stage venture capital firm,” said Bill Reichert, managing director of the new Garage and president of the old Garage. “The world doesn’t need another $250 million fund chasing the same billion dollar startups. Our mantra is ‘Small is Beautiful.’ We’re looking for scrappy entrepreneurs who can build great companies with just a little capital.”
Since raising the Garage California Entrepreneurs Fund, Garage has invested in several startup companies in the information technology and materials science sectors, including BitPass, CaseStack, Media Publisher, WhiteHat Security, Miasole, SimplyHired, FilmLoop and cFares. Some of Garage’s earlier investments include Tripwire, Claria, Digital Fountain, SavageBeast (now known as Pandora Media), GuruNet (now public as Answers.com), iNest Realty (recently acquired by LendingTree), NetConversions (recently acquired by aQuantive), and Hoku Scientific (now public).
Garage Technology Ventures I, LP, will make new investments in emerging technology companies as well as follow-on investments in established portfolio companies. In addition to Kawasaki and Reichert, Mohanjit Jolly, who has been with Garage since 1999, is also a managing director of the new limited partnership.
“The opportunities at the seed-stage are extraordinary,” said Jolly, who led Garage’s recent investments into Kaboodle and Vigilistics. “We look forward to expanding Garage in the near future in order to exploit them.” Garage expects to add additional partners to the firm over the next two years as part of its expansion plan.
About Garage Technology Ventures
Garage Technology Ventures is a seed-stage and early-stage venture capital fund headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Garage, with approximately $30 million under management in its current funds, is focused on information technology and materials science startups in the Western U.S. For more information about Garage, visit www.garage.com.
Garage Portfolio Company Links
Media Publisher: www.media-publisher.com
WhiteHat Security: www.whitehatsec.com
Digital Fountain: www.digitalfountain.com
Pandora Media: www.pandora.com
iNest Realty: www.inest.com
Hoku Scientific: www.hokuscientific.com
Copyright 2006 Garage Technology Ventures. All rights reserved. Garage Technology Ventures and Garage.com are trademarks of Garage Technology Ventures. All other company names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.