Lightspeed Venture Partners All In With Late-Stage Deals

Venture funding continues to pour into the tech space with VCs making bets on what will be the next disruptor in everything from finance to shopping.

Lightspeed Venture Partners is taking a different approach, bringing on three new members for its growth practice.

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According to media reports in August, Lightspeed Venture Partners said it brought on Adam Smith, Amy Wu, and Arsham Memarzadeh as new members. The three are being led by Will Kohler and Brad Twohig and are tasked with boosting the firm’s late-stage investment efforts.

“I think we will continue to add to the team as we see the market opportunity ahead of us, so we can better understand when and where to invest,” Twohig said in a recent report. “They are going out and helping us identify interesting new opportunities. We are really looking for outlier businesses. We aren’t trying to invest in any company. We want outlier founders, outlying companies with outlying performance.”

Wu, who joins the firm from Discovery where she was chief financial officer will be charged with helping portfolio companies scale while Smith, who worked as a principal at Bain Capital Ventures will be tasked with identifying enterprise and consumer-focused companies. Meanwhile Memarzadeh, a former executive at OpenView, the Boston VC firm, will invest in product-driven software startups.

Lightspeed Venture Partners isn’t the only venture capital firm going after late-stage startups. In the second quarter fintech startups raised $8.3 billion, with $100 million-plus rounds fueling the growth. According to market research firm CB Insights, the second quarter had the lowest amount of funding deals by venture capitalists going toward fintechs since the fourth quarter of 2016 but the highest number of $100 million or more funding rounds. During the second quarter, there were 25 deals in which fintech startups raised more than $100 million, amounting to $5 billion in total funding. The mega-rounds went to established fintech players that were in their Series D or Series E round of funding.

With the three new team members, Lightspeed Venture Partner’s late-stage investment team is now double the size. “We still think there are great opportunities to make investments with a strong return profile even at the late-stage,” Kohler added in the report. He pointed to Carta, the fintech company as one late-stage deal. “[Carta is] an exceptional company even at a growth-stage investment because it has so much potential to keep growing. We are convinced there will be venture-sized returns.”