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New fund for GroupMe VC Thrive

Aug 22, 2011

Thrive Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage tech investments, has raised $40 million for its second fund, according to a regulatory filing.

Thrive was launched in 2009 by Josh Kushner, the 25 year-old founder of Brazilian social gaming company Vostu. Also involved was Kushner's brother Jared, publisher of the New York Observer, while investors were believed to include Kushner's real estate mogul father Charles. Advisers include Square and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, media executive Strauss Zelnick and venture capitalist Joel Cutler (whose firm, General Catalyst, was among Vontu's backers).

The firm's initial fund was $10 million, and invested in such companies as Hot Potato, Art.sy, Bank Simple and OnSwipe. Also in the Thrive portfolio is mobile messaging start-up GroupMe, which Skype recently agreed to acquire for around $85 million.

Update: Spoke to a source close to Thrive, and got some additional info:

1. This is the first time that Thrive has taken institutional money, from groups like Princeton, Wellcome Trust and Paul Hall Capital. Its first fund, a $10 million vehicle raised in 2009, was almost entirely funded by media executives.

2. This vehicle actually has around $100 million in capacity, due to a co-investment structure that did not exist on its first fund.

3. I referred to Thrive as an early-stage firm, it apparently views itself as opportunistic. Expect the new fund to occasionally participate in later-stage, larger transactions. I also wouldn’t be surprised if it soon hires some fulltime staff beyond Josh Kushner...

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