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

Austin made The headlines last year were for a number of reasons. 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, driving home prices soaring.

But it’s not just engineers. Austin has many venture capitalists including: Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale said last year that he is running 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 to Call Austin Hometown Jeff Lewis Founder 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 was a partner for several years. He was or was 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 using the term “narrative break” to describe promising companies that are overlooked or undervalued because they do not align with popular narratives.

When moving to Austin, investors were disaffected with Silicon Valley and said they weren’t focused on solving what the region identified as a real problem.

Middle Officer Lewis said he first became acquainted with Austin after supporting Workrise (formerly known as RigUp), a market for skilled workers. In fact, he was the company’s first seed investor eight years ago and has invested in the company eight times since then.

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

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

TechCrunch spoke to Lewis to learn more about his decision to relocate his business to Austin and learn why Silicon Valley has become a “bubble” (spoiler note: you 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 want to get into the technology industry?

I started out as an entrepreneur and founded a SaaS company in the travel industry. [Topguest].. I started the company in New York City and moved my team to San Francisco in 2009. I spent most of my career from 2009 to 2021 commuting between New York and science fiction. We eventually sold the company in 2011, which was a pretty good result. I joined the Founders Fund in 2012. So I’m addicted to investing. I made a very special career 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, helping companies like Lyft and Canva early on. I also made my first FinTech investment in Latin America and helped Nubank. The company is currently valued at $ 30 billion.

I grew up pretty humble and in 2017 I thought I was pretty successful as a VC. I have to make an effort to get back to what I want to do, which is more entrepreneurial. That is why we founded Bedrock at the end of 2017. I am currently using Fund III, which corresponds to my investment philosophy. That is, we try to find so-called narrative violations, or those narrative companies that are overlooked or undervalued. We were very early investors in cameos. Cameo, for example, is clearly a fairly well-known business by now.

You originally decided to lay the foundation in New York. Why?

When I was at the Founders Fund, I had houses 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 be the center of the action. However, Silicon Valley tended to be a little overly self-referential and a little bit out of the way of the noise, so we decided to move to our headquarters in Bedrock, New York, in 2017. New York is not a city of horses so I decided to start a company there, but I have actually invested and continue to invest all over the country and honestly 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 bursting the “self-referential” bubble in Silicon Valley – TechCrunch Source link VC Geoff Lewis on moving to Austin and bursting the “self-referential” bubble in Silicon Valley – TechCrunch

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