K9 Ventures, a micro-venture capital firm founded by entrepreneur Manu Kumar, has raised $40 million for its second fund.
The new fund is much larger than the firm’s first fund of $6.25 million raised in 2009. The firm will continue investing in about four to six companies per year. But the larger fund will invest in 250,000 to $750,000 instead of its current investments of $100,000 to $250,000. K9 can therefore lead investment deals with the larger investments.
So-called “super angels” or “micro-VCs” have proliferated over the last few years filling a gap as venture capitalists raised larger and larger funds. These firms also provided seed stage funding as a new breed of technology start-ups needed less capital do develop their first products than in the past. As a result many entrepreneurs have flocked to these seed investors.
Recent K9 portfolio exits include CardMunch and IndexTank, which were acquired by LinkedIn, BackType, which was acquired by Twitter, and Card.io, which was acquired by PayPal.
K9 Ventures has carved out its own unique space in the market with a very focused approach to investing that emphasizes new technology, often that has taken years to research or develop. Kumar who received a Ph.D. at Stanford appreciates deep technology in a company. Other emphases include companies with technical founders, who have the ability to develop their own product, a company with either new technology or a new market. Kumar also believes in companies that have a clear revenue model in which a customer buys something from a company. Companies with ad-based business models make Kumar’s eyes glaze over, he says.