Most investors do not like to admit that they are looking for the latest buzzwords, but a new company called Bedrock Capital says it’s mission is to do exactly the opposite – have said founders Geoff Lewis and Eric Stromberg me, they are looking for “narration violations.”
So rather than writing a check for the next company in a category that seems to take off, Lewis and Stromberg are looking for startups that are shaking up trends. (For example, Lewis said he sees bike-sharing as a “narrative mirage” where only one or two startups are successful.) And they raised a first fund of $ 122 million to make these investments.
The couple previously worked together at Oyster, where Stromberg was co-founder and CEO, and which Lewis supported as a partner at the Founders Fund. Before launching Bedrock, Stromberg made angel investments in start-ups, including Hubble Contacts, Built Robotics and Lattice, while Lewis’s investments in Founders Fund included Lyft, Wish, Nubank and Canva.
Lewis stated that the common link between his holding companies (in addition to the current assessments of more than $ 1 billion, according to Bedrock) was the fact that he was offering “the only term sheet” to this time. Lyft, for example, might seem like an obvious bet now, but Lewis said that when Founders Fund invested in 2012, one still wonders if the peer-to-peer rides would work and if Uber would “crush everyone.”
At Bedrock, Lewis and Stromberg focus on issuing $ 5 million to $ 10 million Series A checks, although they also plan to make follow-up investments to the fund. The company has already supported three companies: HQ Trivia, RigUp (a market place for oil and gas) and another market company still stealthy.
HQ might not seem to fit the Bedrock model, especially since the company was not the only investor (or even the leader) in the $ 15 million cycle of the application trivia. But Lewis said, “We think it’s also a narrative violation because it can not be easily categorized.” In addition, many investors believe that “all good opportunities in mainstream mobile applications have disappeared.”
The firm is based in New York, with Lewis sharing his time between Silicon Valley and New York. But the pair said they’re looking to invest beyond these cities (RigUp, for example, is based in Austin), and they also hope to support non-traditional founders.
“We think that the future will be much more distributed than the past in all ways,” Lewis said. “This includes the types of people who are founding companies, and where companies come from.” We will really bring this open-mindedness to bear. “
Lewis and Stromberg also set out their vision in a letter to investors, which concludes:
Yet when the pendulum swings too far, stories become a shortcut for thinking and we change our future. In a Shakespearian twist, Silicon Valley’s success has trapped it narratively on two levels. Not only has the popular narrative turned against the technology industry, but many in the industry itself are caught up in a narrative thrap that supplants independent thinking. We became addicted to the story’s consumption; his dopamine hits are delivered by the decisecond on every screen – be it via Twitter, CoinMarketCap, or anything in between …
Against all odds, some brave entrepreneurs who violate the story today will come up with new deep truths tomorrow. We are on a mission to find them.