Thrive Capital, the New York VC firm led by 27-year-old Joshua Kushner, has raised $150 million for Thrive III, the firm’s third fund. The latest funding, which was drawn mostly from existing limited partners such as Princeton University, Hall Capital Partners and the Wellcome Trust, follows on $10 million raised in 2009 and another $40 million raised for Thrive’s second fund a little over a year ago. The latest fund, which took ten weeks to complete, was oversubscribed.
Thrive has been one of the hottest New York VC firms and has backed names like Instagram, Fab, Kickstarter, Warby Parker, Codeacademy and GroupMe, which sold to Skype. One of Thrive’s early bets was on Hot Potato, which, like Instagram, eventually sold to Facebook.
The new fund will give Thrive more ability to go after bigger deals. But it doesn’t change the firm’s basic strategy, which is to be geography and stage agnostic, with an eye toward backing ambitious and transformative companies in the Internet and media space.
Thrive has succeeded, in part, by getting in on some of the hottest New York deals while investing in other major non-New York start-ups, such as Instagram and Dwolla. Kushner believes that New York is still very much on the upswing though he believes opportunities are opening up in all kinds of places.
“It is evident by what has been built over the last years that New York is home to some of the most creative people in the world,” he said. “The Internet has evolved. Individuals can build transformative businesses from anywhere. Human capital is the most important driver of change.”
Kushner, whose father was real estate magnate Charles Kushner, got the startup bug in college when he launched Vostu, an online gaming company in Brazil. Though he’s become one of the biggest VCs in the city, Kushner casts a low-key profile, avoiding a lot of publicity. That is reflected in the firm’s website, which is barely more than just a contact page.