The firm is best known for being an early stage backer of companies like Twitter, Tumblr, Warby Parker, Oculus, RunKeeper, and many more successful startups. The move to a later stage “growth” fund is a bit of a departure, as Sabet acknowledged.
As he noted in his blog post, “While we love early stage investing, we have observed a meaningful long term opportunity to also invest in venture growth companies within our existing areas of focus. Some of these companies will be backed by other venture firms in earlier rounds, some Spark will have invested in previously, and some may not have had any institutional financing.”
Sabet also announced that the Spark Growth fund will be run by new general partner Jeremy Philips. Spark Growth will have dedicated investment teams in San Francisco and New York City, the latter being where Philips will run the fund’s operations.
Philips, a native Australian, has worked at McKinsey, served as a digital executive at News Corp., was the chief executive of Photon Group, and currently sits on the board of TripAdvisor.
Sabet said of the latest addition to the Spark team, “Jeremy has a passion for the same investment areas we pursue at Spark but with an eye towards growth stage investments. So we decided to join forces.”
While it seems that Spark’s Boston office will focus primarily on early stage investments, Spark Growth could be really great news for a few Boston startups that are part of Spark’s portfolio. I covered some of those companies, including RunKeeper as well as New York’s Timehop, in an article on Wednesday: “Who stands to benefit from a new Spark growth fund.”