Primary Venture Partners racks up $200m across two funds

Primary Venture Partners has raised $200 million in total for two new funds.

Primary Venture Partners has raised $200 million in total for two new funds. Primary has closed its second select fund at $50 million and raised $150 million for its new seed fund. Primary backs New York City startups.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, NY (February 24, 2021) — Primary Venture Partners (Primary), New York City’s homegrown VC firm focused exclusively on investing in New York City startups, today announced the launch of a new $150MM fund, the largest seed fund dedicated to New York City startups to-date. In addition to this third fund, Primary today announced it has closed $50MM for its second Select fund—closing a total of $200MM across these two new funds.

Primary will use this third fund to invest in the most talented founders entirely from the New York City tech ecosystem as they work to build the next generation of transformational businesses, further solidifying the firm’s loyalty to local entrepreneurs. The Select II fund follows Primary’s Select I fund with a strategy of investing in later-stage rounds of breakout portfolio companies from the firm’s core early stage funds. In conjunction with the launch of the new funds, Primary also announced the appointment of Rebecca Price as Operating Partner (previously of Capsule and Enigma) and the promotion of Jason Shuman to Partner.

Primary’s current and previous portfolio companies have experienced extraordinary success, such as Jet.com which was acquired by Walmart for $3.3B, Mirror which sold to Lululemon for $500MM, K Health which recently achieved Unicorn status with a $1.5B valuation and Latch which is merging to go public via a Tishman Speyer SPAC that values the company at over $1.5B. Additional noteworthy portfolio companies include Slice, Vestwell, Chief, Electric and Alloy. The firm’s laser focus on supporting New York City startups is most evident in its robust Portfolio Impact Team, a powerful engine built to scale companies, drive tangible results and cultivate sustainable businesses. Primary is the only seed-stage VC firm to employ full-time operating partners; these former C-suite executives provide portfolio companies unparalleled support around go-to-market, strategic finance and talent.

Despite COVID’s economic impact, Primary recognizes that New York City is the second biggest tech ecosystem in the world, valued at $147B, and the firm remains devoted to keeping it on top. Co-Founders Ben Sun and Brad Svrluga baked the resilience, energy and ambition of New York City into the firm’s DNA, and these core tenets guide every aspect of how it operates. Its world-class leaders are eager to foster the next chapter of disruptive companies that will be born from the local startup arena.

“New York City has diversity, grit and passion in a way that no other city has, and we firmly believe that this multi-dimensional magnetism is core to the evolution and ever-growing success of the startups that are created here,” said Brad Svrluga, Co-Founder and General Partner at Primary. “Our diversity—of people, industries and cultural assets—and the breadth of domain expertise in our workforce—across finance, fashion, advertising, real estate, media, CPG, pharmaceuticals and more—are this market’s and Primary’s greatest assets. It is this diversity that led the city to bounce back from the Global Financial Crisis, which so many thought would be a crippling blow to New York. Instead, the tech community in many ways was fueled by the meltdown on Wall Street and has never looked back. Now, as the city begins to rebound from COVID, we are doubling down on our commitment while many others fear for the future of this market, and will continue to play an integral role in shaping the next wave of New York City startups which we believe will be stronger than any other market in the country.”

After meeting Co-Founder Brad Svrluga through a shared early investment in Latch, Jason Shuman joined Primary over two years ago where his investments landed him on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and as one of the Venture Capital Journal’s 40 Rising Stars in 2019. Now as Partner, Shuman will undertake leading new consumer and marketplace investments. As an Operating Partner and new addition to the Primary team, Rebecca Price will engage deeply with founders, focusing on people and talent support for Primary’s portfolio companies, as well as expanding the firm’s network of experts. Together, they bring decades of experience in advising technology-driven companies, further positioning Primary as a VC leader in the New York City startup scene and the best partner for founders to seek as they navigate the current landscape of starting and growing a business.

“As a lifelong New Yorker, I’m excited to invest in the next generation of New York City startups and continue to work with the amazing founders that call this city home,” said Ben Sun, Co-Founder and General Partner at Primary. “We have seen an influx of great entrepreneurial talent in New York over the last decade. When we started Primary, I wanted to build a firm that could provide the support to founders that I never had on my own founder journey as an operator. Six years later, I’m proud to say that we are having that impact, as our founders tell us every day. At the same time, our bet on my hometown—a bet that was far from obvious to people when we got started in 2014—has proven to be a very wise one. NYC has now emerged as one of the most important startup markets in the world, and the best is yet to come.”

Primary’s steadfast commitment to supporting New York entrepreneurs goes beyond its portfolio company support. As evidence of the firm’s allegiance to the New York City tech ecosystem, it recently launched the NYC Founder Guide, a vital and free resource available to anyone looking for insights on investors to talk to and vendors to work with, including a proprietary directory of over 100 profiles with active angel, pre-seed or seed investors. While COVID forced the cancelation last fall of what would have been the fourth Primary NYC Summit, that event, which has become the definitive annual tentpole event for the tech and investor community, will be back as soon as a post-vaccine world allows.

Additionally, Primary is launching a six-month, part-time NYC Founders Fellowship program with the goal of helping aspiring New York City founders meet mentors, structure their research, and engage in rigorous exploration of their business idea in order to get it off the ground. Primary takes no equity as part of the fellowship and is starting this initiative to support founders in New York City and give them the tools and structure to launch new companies.

For more information about Primary, please visit https://www.primary.vc/.

ABOUT PRIMARY VENTURE PARTNERS
Primary Venture Partners is a seed-stage venture capital firm responsible for backing NYC’s most talented founders. With the largest portfolio impact team of any NYC seed investor, its significant talent, finance and network resources drive measurable results and empower portfolio companies to thrive from seed to Series A and beyond. The firm counts some of NYC’s most promising startups—including K Health, Latch, Slice, Vestwell, Electric and Chief among its portfolio, with historical successes including seed investments in Mirror, Jet.com, Ticketfly, TxVia and Coupang. Learn more at http://www.primary.vc.