You Have One and So Do We.
VCs always tell their entrepreneurs that they “need to focus!” Obvious advice
that is often easier said than done. Focus has significant benefits: it allows you to
better serve your customers, it aligns your team on a single and well-defined mission, and it creates deep expertise and long-term barriers to entry. Focus is indeed critical.
Our partners have been investing in early stage technology since 1996. We have made more than 102 investments and successfully exited more than 42 by way of IPO and M&A. We are now investing out of our 8th fund, which is our second fund dedicated to mobile and we’ve learned to follow our own advice. That’s why, in 2008, we became strictly focused on the emergence of mobile as the computing platform of the future, which means we partner exclusively with entrepreneurs who see the promise and opportunity enabled by mobile computing to disrupt existing industries and create new markets.
How Do We Define Mobile?
Our definition continues to be enhanced as the market evolves, but we define mobile as a fundamental computing paradigm. After all, the smartphone in your pocket is a powerful computing device. In the post-PC era, we are connecting to the Internet via always on, always connected devices. We view mobile as a continuum from the sensor to the cloud. The sensor may have glass, be wearable or be embedded in the environment.
We are looking for opportunities where these connected devices transform incumbent industries or create new market opportunities. Mobile must be core to the user experience, product offering or innovation and create new experiences and user behaviors. Mobile must also be core to the business model. Finally, we look for synergies with our network of portfolio companies and advisors.
We also have a particular interest and depth in four key vertical markets that we believe are ripe for disruption with mobile. These include: healthcare, education, enterprise and connected home/car.
With our focus on mobile we are raising the bar and changing the way value is delivered to entrepreneurs. Here are the key aspects to our approach:
1. We are active company builders.
Every investment we make is important to us. We are a low volume investor, which means we seek out quality over quantity. Because of our fund size, every entrepreneur we work with has the potential to “move the needle”. Our interests are always aligned. When you are successful, we’re successful. As a result, we lead all of our investments (most of the time syndicating with other high quality VCs that we have worked with in the past), take board seats and leverage our networks to help you build a great company.
2. We have an unparalleled and focused network of relationships in the mobile eco-system.
Let’s face it. The tech space is broad, dynamic and rapidly changing. It is hard enough to be a specialist in one sector let alone a generalist in six or eight. Because of our focus, we have built a network that allows us to be smarter investors, make decisions faster and land you initial customers and partners sooner. From mobile operators to handset manufacturers, media content to distribution and consumer to enterprise, there hasn’t been a dot that we couldn’t connect when it comes to mobile.
3. Because of our focus, our portfolio is the network.
VCs like to take credit for the success of portfolio companies, but sometimes the results can be even better when we “get out of the kitchen”. Since our portfolio is comprised of mobile CEOs and founders exclusively, our portfolio is your best network resource. This peer group of 40+ mobile entrepreneurs has walked in your shoes, negotiated the deals, and landed the right partnerships. Exclusive access to this “club” is the most significant differentiation that we can offer.
But don’t take our word for it. Watch the video on our home page and hear what our entrepreneurs have to say and reach out directly to talk to them about why they chose to partner with Relay Ventures.