Bedrock Capital raises $122M to fund startups that reject conventional wisdom

technicalstudio | March 26, 2018 | 0 | Tech News

Most investors don’t like to admit that they’re chasing the latest buzzwords or fads or hot companies, but a new firm called Bedrock Capital says it’s on a mission to do the exact opposite — founders Geoff Lewis and Eric Stromberg told me they’re searching for “narrative violations.”

So rather than just writing a check for the next company in a category that seems to be taking off, Lewis and Stromberg are looking for startups that buck the trends. (For example, Lewis told me he sees bike-sharing as a “narrative mirage” where only one or two startups are likely to be successful.) And they’ve raised a first fund of $122 million to make those investments.

The pair has worked together before at Oyster, where Stromberg was co-founder and CEO, and which Lewis backed as a partner at Founders Fund. (The startup was acqui-hired by Google in 2015.) Before starting Bedrock, Stromberg was making angel investments in startups including Hubble Contacts, Built Robotics and Lattice, while Lewis’ investments at Founders Fund included Lyft, Wish, Nubank and Canva.

Lewis said that the common link between his portfolio companies (besides current valuations of more than $1 billion, according to Bedrock) was the fact that he was offering “the only term sheet” at that point in time. Lyft, for example, might seem like an obvious bet now, but Lewis said that when Founders Fund invested in 2012, there are still questions about whether peer-to-peer rides would work, and whether Uber “would just crush everyone.”

At Bedrock, Lewis and Stromberg are focused on writing Series A checks between of $5 million and $10 million, though they also plan to make follow-on investments from the fund. The firm has already backed three companies: HQ Trivia, RigUp (a marketplace for oil and gas-related work) and another marketplace company that’s still in stealth.

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