VC Geoff Lewis on moving to Austin and popping Silicon Valley’s ‘self-referential’ bubble – TechCrunch

Austin made There are several reasons for headlines over the past year. There is a new headquarters for Oracle.Tesla Large Gigafactory In the capital of Texas. People, mostly technicians, have settled in the city away from the Bay Area, pushing up home prices in the process.

But it’s not just engineers. Austin has many venture capitalists, including: Breyer Capital’s Jim Breyer And Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale said last year he Run his venture capital company, 8VC, from Silicon Valley to the city.

“I don’t think everyone should move to Austin. I don’t think it’s right for everyone, but I think it’s right for us.”

The latest VCs that call Austin their hometown Jeff LewisFounder and Managing Partner of Bedrock Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm four years ago with $ 1 billion in assets under management. Lewis began his investment career at the Founders Fund, where he partnered for several years. He has been or has been a board member of companies such as Lyft, Nubank, Vercel, and Workrise.

Lewis also led initial investments in Wish, Upstart, Tilray, Canva, Rippling, ClearCo, Flock Safety, and many other unicorns. He is highly regarded for spreading the phrase “narrative breach” to describe promising companies that are overlooked or undervalued because they are inconsistent with popular narratives.

In moving to Austin, investors were disillusioned with Silicon Valley and said they remained unfocused on solving what the region described as a real-world problem.

Medium officerLewis said he was first introduced to Austin after supporting Workrise (formerly known as RigUp), a market for skilled trade workers. In fact, he was the company’s first seed investor eight years ago and has been investing in the company eight times since then.Today, Workrise Value close to $ 3 billion..

Mr. Lewis said he was attracted to the company not only because it “becomes huge” but also because “it was far more interested in real people and places than today’s Silicon Valley giants.” ..

“Simply put, it’s a more humane technology company,” Lewis writes. “And what took me to Texas was to look for this more humane innovation genre. I live on the coast and build a career as a technology entrepreneur and investor in Silicon Valley. I’ve been there, but I’ve never felt it. of As a coast or insider In Silicon Valley — I didn’t go to Stanford or get rich. “

TechCrunch talked to Lewis to learn more about his decision to move his company to Austin and learned his view on why Silicon Valley has become too “bubble” (spoiler note: they are you). May not be popular with many of them!) And he plans to invest more in Texas startup connections.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You said you grew up in Canada. What made you first join the technology industry in the first place?

I started as an entrepreneur and founded a SaaS company in the travel industry. [Topguest].. I founded the business in New York City and moved my team to San Francisco in 2009. I spent most of my career from 2009 to 2021 going back and forth between New York and science fiction. We ended up selling the company in 2011, which was a pretty okay result. I joined the Founders Fund in 2012. So I got hooked on investing. I got a really special trajectory there and 2012 was a great opportunity to be a young VC in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Ultimately, I focused on both consumer and corporate markets and helped companies like Lyft and Canva early on. I also made my first FinTech investment in Latin America and helped Nubank. Currently, the company is valued at $ 30 billion.

I grew up in a fairly modest way and by 2017 I thought I was quite successful as a VC. I need to strive to get back to what I want to do, which is more entrepreneurial. That’s why we founded Bedrock in late 2017. I am currently using Fund III, which is in line with the investment philosophy I pursued. That is, we are trying to find what are called narrative violations, or these narrative companies that are overlooked or undervalued. We were very early investors in cameos. Cameo, for example, is now clearly a fairly well-known business.

You initially chose to put the bedrock in New York. Why?

When I was at the Founders Fund, I had homes in both cities (SF and NYC), so I was a kid who grew up in Calgary, Canada and wanted to live on the beach and become the center of action. However, Silicon Valley tended to be a bit overly self-referential and a little out of the noise, so in 2017 we decided to actually headquarter in Bedrock, New York. New York isn’t a city of horses, so I decided to set up a company there, but I’ve actually invested and continue to invest everywhere in the country and, to be honest, all over the world. We invested in WordPress early on and more recently in Argyle and Lambda School.

VC Geoff Lewis on moving to Austin and popping Silicon Valley’s ‘self-referential’ bubble – TechCrunch Source link VC Geoff Lewis on moving to Austin and popping Silicon Valley’s ‘self-referential’ bubble – TechCrunch

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