With previous investments including Luminar, Transfix, Zola, and Vida Health, Canvas leads Series A investments and leverages partners' deep operational experience to unlock breakout growth and follow-on capital
PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Canvas Ventures, the boutique firm for visionary builders, today announced the close of CV3, a $350 million fund to lead early-stage B2B and B2C investments in fintech, digital health, marketplaces, and logistics. With decades of collective operational experience, the firm's four general partners are known by founders as being their go-to champion and resource. Offering seasoned, hands-on guidance on go-to-market, sales, and growth strategies, Canvas consistently helps entrepreneurs identify and land their most valuable customers and raise follow-on capital. To support the growing portfolio and deployment of CV3, Canvas welcomed several new strategic hires on the investment and platform team. This new fund, which hit its hard cap and is double the size of its inaugural fund, CV1, brings the total raised to $835 million since Canvas was founded in 2013.
Intentional Approach to Thesis-Driven Investing
Canvas Ventures closes CV3, a $350M fund to offer visionary founders early-stage capital and go-to-market expertise.
Canvas engages in thesis-driven investing in fintech, digital health, marketplaces, and logistics, primarily leading Series A rounds with check sizes ranging from $5 million to $15 million. The four partners—Rebecca Lynn, Paul Hsiao, Mike Ghaffary, and Gary Little—take on a select number of companies, ensuring that each investment receives maximum support. The Canvas partners proactively scout and select founders who demonstrate they are best-in-class technologists focused on building impactful companies.
"In today's market, nothing is more important than focus. At Canvas, that means honing in on strategic sectors so that when we see a company, founder, or idea we believe in, we can move quickly. This intentional approach is how we find, support, and grow transformational companies," said Rebecca Lynn, co-founder and general partner at Canvas Ventures. "I've spent my career in go-to-market. We've now seen, through successes in our past funds, that our deep operational background paired with our thesis-driven approach produces strong results and allows us to make successful, bold bets. We're doubling down with CV3."
Canvas Ventures' first fund, CV1, includes Luminar Technologies (Nasdaq: LAZR), a global leader in automotive lidar technology that went public via SPAC in December 2020; Zola, online wedding registry, planner, and retailer; Vida Health, virtual care for chronic conditions; and Transfix, a digital freight management software. Notable investments from CV2 include logistics companies MasonHub and Flowspace, proptech leaders Roofstock and Flyhomes, and fintech pioneers Possible Finance, Gabi, and Skyflow.
One of the venture industry's earlier female-founded firms, Canvas has an investment and platform team today composed of 40% women. And across the Canvas portfolio, 1/3 of its companies are founded or led by women, including Zola, Transfix, Thrive Global, Casetext, Platform9, and Vida Health, among others.
Founders' First Call for Growth Guidance
Canvas Ventures' four General Partners take a hands-on approach to each investment, lending early-stage growth guidance drawn from a collective 45 years of operational experience:
● Rebecca Lynn works with early-stage founders to refine their product-market fit and expand their go-to-market strategy. Rebecca has a passion for unlocking new channels for growth and building out consumer and brand marketing, drawing from early career experience at Procter & Gamble and operational experience scaling fintech companies from early-stage to IPO.
● Paul Hsiao approaches investing with an innate respect for how founders and leaders build meaningful companies. Paul draws on deep experience as a two-time founder and leverages hard-won wisdom scaling companies from garage-scale to IPO. His unique skill is in helping early-stage companies identify–and land–their most valuable customers.
● Mike Ghaffary brings a unique perspective as a founder and operator with a particular focus on marketplaces and business development. Understanding how BD can be a lever for growth, Mike counsels portfolio companies with firsthand advice from his experience as an executive at Yelp and CEO of Eat24. He helps companies with early business initiatives including new revenue lines, strategic partnerships, and go-to-market strategy and execution.
● Gary Little has several decades of experience operating and investing in enterprise companies. Gary has a particular interest in innovative software and services, and lends portfolio companies his deep expertise in product-led growth and developer marketing for products with strong open source communities. He has helped his portfolio companies grow from pre-revenue to IPO and multi-billion dollar exits.
"In an environment where expectations have never been higher, the team at Canvas is fortunate to be investing in founders building companies that facilitate true digital and physical transformation. Each partner lends extensive operating experience, ultimately helping our portfolio companies scale and succeed. We know first-hand what it takes to grow a company from $1M to $1B, and we work tirelessly to ensure the best outcomes for our portfolio companies," said Paul Hsiao, Co-Founder and General Partner at Canvas Ventures.
A Growing Team to Support Growing Companies
With CV3, Canvas Ventures is launching a GTM Council to provide portfolio companies with advice and insights from best-in-class marketers across B2B and B2C disciplines. The Canvas GTM Council is an elite group of proven operators with experience guiding early-stage growth across sales and marketing at industry-leading tech companies.
The Canvas team has grown significantly, with new hires spanning the investment team, talent, and marketing. The team scouts new investments, offers guidance to new and existing portfolio companies, builds the Canvas brand, and supports portfolio marketing.
● Grace Isford is an investor with a passion for scouting humble and ambitious entrepreneurs across sectors ripe for innovation, with a focus on B2B business models in fintech, digital health, and enterprise. Prior to Canvas, Grace worked in product at Handshake, in growth equity at Stripes Group and on the LP side at the Stanford Management Company. She holds a BS/MS from Stanford where she was a Mayfield Fellow.
● Evan Hatch is an investor interested in the modernization of infrastructure within financial services and enterprises. Prior to Canvas, Evan worked at Insight Venture Partners and Global Founders Capital.
● Harrison Lieberfarb is an investor enthusiastic about connecting with mission-driven, category-defining entrepreneurs. His focus as an investor is on consumer and B2B marketplaces, fintech, and software. Harrison was previously an investor at Softbank Group and worked in business and corporate development at Yelp.
● Ripley Hartmeyer is head of talent & community, with a focus on sourcing, cultivating, and placing top talent across the Canvas portfolio, as well as building the Canvas entrepreneurial community ecosystem. She also plays a key role in investor communication and relationship building. Ripley previously worked at Spencer Stuart, a leading global executive search firm.
● Nina Willdorf is head of marketing & communications, where she works closely with Canvas portfolio companies to develop their brand narrative and marketing strategy, in addition to helping position Canvas's brand. Nina brings years of marketing storytelling experience at tech companies including Coinbase, Airbnb, and Trulia, along with working as an editor and journalist for national media outlets such as All You and Travel + Leisure.
About Canvas Ventures
Canvas Ventures is the boutique firm for visionary builders. Leading Series A investments in transformative companies, Canvas follows a thesis-driven approach to investing, scouting, and securing fields ripe for disruption, including: fintech, digital health, marketplaces, and logistics. Canvas Ventures' investing partners are Rebecca Lynn, Paul Hsiao, Mike Ghaffary, and Gary Little. Founded in 2013, Canvas Ventures and its partners have been named to Forbes Magazine's Midas List several times over. Visit www.canvas.vc to learn more and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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SOURCE Canvas Ventures