Mobius spinout raises $225m debut fund

After prominent VC firm Mobius began to wind down its operations last year, five of its team members decided to launch their own tech fund.

Mobius spinout The Foundry Group has held a final close on $225 million (€158 million) for its debut fund. The fund’s original target was $175 million.

Jason Mendelson

Foundry took its fund out to market in January, and held a first close on $159 million in September. The firm’s limited partners include Guardian Life, Morgan Stanley, Parish Capital and the University of Texas Investment Management Company. Foundry did not say how many of its limited partners, if any, had previously invested in Mobius funds.

The new fund’s strategy, said managing director Jason Mendelson, will be a continuation of what the team did at Mobius, namely seed and early stage IT companies in the US. Over the next three to five years the firm plans to invest in 25 to 30 companies. The size of Foundry’s investments will vary from deal to deal, and the firm will not target specific sectors in the traditional sense.

“We don’t look at the world as being divided into sectors; we take a thematic approach to investing,” Mendelson said.

One such theme might be email, he said. Following the theme of email might lead the firm to invest in software or storage, both of which are typically regarded as sectors in their own right. Other themes the firm could pursue are Really Simple Syndication or human-computer interaction.

Five members of Mobius Venture Capital – Brad Feld, Seth Levine, Ryan McIntyre, Mendelson and Chris Wand – created Foundry after Mobius said last year that it would wind down its operations. Mobius was once prominent in Silicon Valley, having made a number of successful investments in the 1990s, enabling it to raise a $630 million fund in 1999 and a $1.25 billion fund in 2000. But the firm suffered badly during the tech crash and never fully recovered.