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Flying Fish gathers $70m for sophomore fund

The venture firm invests in the artificial intelligence and machine learning sector.

Flying Fish Partners has closed its second venture fund at $70 million. The venture firm invests in the artificial intelligence and machine learning sector.

PRESS RELEASE

SEATTLE – (May 17, 2022) – Flying Fish Partners (“Flying Fish”) today announced the final closing of its second venture fund, Flying Fish Partners II, L.P., (Fund II) with $70 million in committed capital. Flying Fish invests in the rapidly growing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) sector.

Flying Fish makes seed-stage investments in software and mixed hardware and software companies that use AI or ML as foundations to their businesses, provide AI and ML products and services, or provide tools to AI and ML practitioners. Flying Fish has already made 10 investments in Fund II.

“When we started Flying Fish Partners, we were one of the first venture firms to recognize AI and ML as a rich investment opportunity and to leverage the Pacific Northwest’s strength in the sector,” said Geoff Harris, Flying Fish co-founder and managing director. “We believe our early confidence in the sector has proven out already and that we are still very early in the AI/ML revolution.”

Flying Fish’s team comes from a heavily operational background. Its three founders – Harris, Heather Redman and Frank Chang – have deep and complementary technical, operating and investing expertise.

In Fund II, the team adds Adriane Brown as managing director. Brown is an accomplished executive and board member of Fortune 100 companies and previously served as a venture partner in Fund I. Vanessa Pegueros, a cybersecurity expert and seasoned executive who served as a venture partner in Fund I, continues to serve as a venture partner in Fund II. Flying Fish also adds Lisa Nelson, co-founder of M12 and an active advisor and independent board member, as a new venture partner in Fund II. The firm is actively hiring principals in Seattle.

Notable companies in the firm’s Fund I include Picnic, Symbl.ai, Reclaim and Phaidra. Portland-based standout Streem (sold to Frontdoor) was also an early investment in Fund I.

“Increasingly early-stage investors in particular must specialize to have the necessary expertise to sort through the staggering number of new startups each year,” said Chang, Flying Fish co-founder and managing director. “We’ve found our focused thesis and deep roots in AI and ML to be very attractive to founders as well as to investors.”

“As an ex-DeepMind and Google team with a big idea, we had a lot of interest and options when we decided to move to Seattle to start Phaidra.ai,” said Jim Gao, Phaidra.ai CEO. “We chose Flying Fish because of the team’s AI and ML expertise, their roll-up-their-sleeves approach to every aspect of the business and their commitment to diversity. We’d make the same choice today.”

While Flying Fish has invested in startup companies in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, its reach has expanded geographically. Several of its initial investments in Fund II are located along the East Coast of the United States and Canada.

“As a result of our early entry into the AI and ML sector, we find that we have deal flow from across the U.S. and Canada,” said Redman, Flying Fish co-founder and managing director. “Though we still love our backyard, it’s been gratifying to see our brand become known broadly.”

About Flying Fish Partners
Flying Fish Partners, based in Seattle, is an early-stage venture firm focused on providing capital and value-added support to fast-growing, high-potential AI and ML technology companies in the U.S. and Canada. The firm invests capital, expertise and relationships in early-stage startups with very big ideas and makes initial investments at the seed and pre-seed stages.