Lightspeed raises over $7bn to fund early and growth-stage entrepreneurs

Nicole Quinn, Partner at Lightspeed

Lightspeed Venture Partners announced the closing of Lightspeed Venture Partners XIV-A/B, L.P. (Fund XIV) with $1.98bn, Lightspeed Venture Partners Select V, L.P. (Select Fund V) with $2.26bn, and Lightspeed Opportunity Fund II, L.P. (Opportunity Fund II) with $2.36bn of capital. Lightspeed India Partners also closed $500m early stage fund (LSIP Fund IV).

Lightspeed also unveiled Lightspeed Faction, an independent team dedicated to building on Lightspeed’s nine year history of backing exceptional founders in blockchain infrastructure.

Lightspeed’s global and multi-stage strategy supports exceptional entrepreneurs across sectors, in any geography, and at any point in their entrepreneurial journey across twelve global offices and in six countries. Since Lightspeed’s founding, the firm has partnered with more than 500 Enterprise, Consumer, Health and Fintech founders and their companies.

How is Lightspeed uplifting innovative founders?

Roughly a fourth of those companies have either been acquired or gone public, with 33 IPOs over the years. The funding, about 60% more than Lightspeed’s last flagship fundraise, focuses on expanding the firm’s early stage vehicles and supporting its growing platform.

Lightspeed Venture Partners XIV-A/B, L.P.

Lightspeed Venture Partners XIV-A/B, L.P. ($1.98B), is designed to support founders in their earliest stages of company development in the firm’s long-standing Enterprise, Consumer, Health and Fintech practices. Investing at the earliest stages of innovation, from incubation to Seed to Series B, drives the way Lightspeed works with and supports firms at all stages.

Lightspeed has been known as a pioneer in early-stage Enterprise investing for more than 20 years and today continues to have one of the largest teams in Enterprise, investing at the forefront of infrastructure, cloud, security, artificial intelligence, SaaS and the future of work.

While the firm built its early reputation on its Enterprise practice, it is building its legacy on extending that success to its burgeoning Consumer, Healthcare and Fintech practices.

“We believe in investing at the earliest stages of innovation, partnering with entrepreneurs who have clarity of vision, an insatiable desire to build something enduring, and the courage to compete and win against all odds,” commented Arif Janmohamed, Partner, Lightspeed.

“We love to incubate companies around core dislocations in the enterprise landscape and to build relationships with prospective entrepreneurs years before they start building,” he added.

“We pride ourselves on being the first institutional capital behind our founders and having the patience, persistence and capital to help build companies from one employee to thousands. We have our finger on the cultural pulse and go where the entrepreneur is – we meet the innovators where they are making their mark,” commented Nicole Quinn, Partner, Lightspeed.

Lightspeed believes that exceptional consumer firms will continue to emerge from diverse geographies and diverse founders. With Europe becoming one of the most exciting startup markets in the world, the team welcomed Paul Murphy in 2021 to help lead Lightspeed’s European office in the UK as a Partner. Over 30% of Lightspeed’s consumer investments are in female-founded companies and 2021 was its most geographically diverse in its history.

With more than $1.2 billion in distributions, Lightspeed’s Healthcare practice has been focused on further improving patient lives over the last ten years, initially recognizing the importance of health data with the dawn of the genomic era by investing in diagnostic and cutting-edge platform and revolutionary tech, quickly followed by an expansion into biotherapeutics.

Today, almost every business is a fintech business, which is why Lightspeed has invested over $1.5bn in close to 100 global Fintech companies including $600m in blockchain and emerging use cases. Stripe and Yelp veteran Justin Overdorff joined as a Partner in 2021 to lead Lightspeed’s Fintech practice and plant the Lightspeed flag in New York, where he is based.

Lightspeed Venture Partners Select V, L.P.

As organisations begin to inflect and scale, they need a partner who can grow with them and support their scaling ambitions to be a category defining company. Lightspeed Venture Partners Select V, L.P. ($2.26 billion), accelerates existing Lightspeed portfolio organisations and new investments across our global platform led by the Lightspeed Growth Team.

Select V cements Lightspeed’s ability to back exceptional founders and outperforming companies and increases Lightspeed’s exposure to companies as they enter the growth phase. In the past six years, Lightspeed has invested $2.2bn in early growth companies.

And in the past two years alone, Lightspeed celebrated the IPOs and acquisitions of Affirm, Blend, Clever, Grab, Hillevax, The Honest Company, Outbrain, Pensando, TeneoBio, and TeneoTwo, and generated more than $2.7 billion in liquidity for their limited partners.

“Lightspeed’s mission remains the same today as it was at our founding 20+ years ago–to invest in founders and innovators building enduring companies. We believe in investing in companies at scale, and like the companies we invest in, we have to continue to innovate and evolve as a firm in order to be the best partners we can be, and better serve founders and the companies they’ve created as they grow,” said Will Kohler, Partner, Lightspeed.

“These firms are staying private longer and regardless of where in the world the journey begins, the founders’ ambitions are increasingly global in nature to meet growing demand.”

“We believe innovation is a continuum and requires a full stack platform to support peerless founders at any stage, in any sector and in any geography throughout their journey…especially in markets like these,” said Michael Romano, Chief Business Officer, Lightspeed.

“We’ve witnessed venture capital transform society, and be itself transformed by world events – the crash of 2000, the financial crisis of 2009, and today’s volatile market. It’s why we architected a reinvestment team three years ago to prepare for a market correction.”

Lightspeed Opportunity Fund II, L.P.

Lightspeed has since long held that innovation and entrepreneurship transcend continents. And 2021 brought a continued proliferation of global entrepreneurial talent.

From Europe to Latin America, Southeast Asia and countless countries in between, Lightspeed sourced and completed more global deals in 2021 than at any other time in the firm’s twenty-year history across their funds. Lightspeed’s global footprint and unified approach across global teams has been critical to supporting the most exceptional Founders.

The Lightspeed Opportunity Fund II, L.P. ($2.36B), is a platform to back breakout companies from across all of the global territories where Lightspeed operates. It is more evident than ever that entrepreneurship is global, and for over a decade, Lightspeed has worked with some of the most experienced partners in China, India, Israel, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Consistent with this strategy, we’re excited to welcome Bejul Somaia to Lightspeed’s leadership team, where he will contribute to the firm’s strategy and global operations in addition to his existing roles advising on investments in India, Southeast Asia and Europe.

Bejul joined Lightspeed in 2008 and brings deep experience backing entrepreneurs and helping to build Lightspeed in India and Southeast Asia, where he’ll continue advising on investments and supporting the regions’ best and brightest Founders.

“In the early 2000s, Lightspeed started building a global footprint given our conviction that the future of technology and entrepreneurship would be global. Today, Lightspeed has 70 investors located across twelve cities globally,” said Bejul Somaia, Partner, Lightspeed.

“By intentionally constructing cross-border deal teams, we are able to offer founders local market knowledge and relationships, together with deep sector domain knowledge. In doing so, we are all exposed to, and are learning from, the innovation that is happening across the world in order to better serve our innovative founders,” Somaia further commented.

The closing of Lightspeed India IV at its $500 million hard-cap reflects the firm’s deepening commitment to the India and South East Asia region, since our first India investment in 2007.

Alongside India IV, which is a dedicated early-stage fund vehicle, Lightspeed invests in growth-stage firms in the India and South East Asia from its Select and Opportunity fund vehicles. Over the past 5 years, the firm’s presence has expanded to 28 professionals in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Singapore, representing one of the largest venture advisory in the region.

Lightspeed has been a partner to category leaders in India like Indian Energy Exchange, Oyo, Byju’s, Grab, Acko, Razorpay, Udaan, Sharechat and Innovaccer and we continue to witness the broadening and deepening of the opportunity in the region, led by top founders and an ever-expanding scope for technology to reshape the economy in India and Southeast Asia.

Since closing US $920 million of new funds in November 2021, Lightspeed China Partners has been actively investing in sectors including green tech, deep tech, SaaS and consumer tech.

Lightspeed China Partners has made new investments in nearly 20 start-ups, from ePropulsion, the world’s second-largest maker of electric boat propulsion systems, to Agilines, a leading cloud native manufacturing design and collaboration platform.

Lightspeed China Partners also celebrated two IPOs on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) and Shanghai’s STAR Market in 2021–Full Truck Alliance (NYSE:YMM) and QingCloud Technology (SH:688316) –and two portfolio companies have filed to go public this year.

As the future of venture continues to be an increasingly global one, Lightspeed is positioned to invest in, and serve, exceptional founders and companies at any stage and in any geography by leveraging our global footprint of investors and network of relationships.

Lightspeed Faction (Faction)

We are proud to announce the culmination of nine years of investing behind some of the largest blockchain companies with the debut of Faction, a crypto native team to drive transformation in the blockchain ecosystem. Faction is an experienced group of blockchain veterans that collaborates with the Lightspeed global platform to meet exceptional founders.

The senior Faction team is run by Sam Harrison and Banafsheh Fathieh and anchored by a growing team of crypto native investors. Faction believes the innovation economy is at the precipice of a significant computing paradigm shift with blockchain companies leading emerging use cases that will redefine underlying IT infrastructure and industries they serve.

From Fintech, to Consumer, Enterprise and even Healthcare, the team is seeing the manner in which blockchain may fundamentally change how businesses are organized, how distributed computing systems are arranged, and how entire economies operate. Blockchain is changing how network participants are incentivized, how startups within this ecosystem are funded and how communities can coalesce their shared power to create change.

“Blockchain technology has enabled new use cases that we believe will supplant notable legacy systems across the globe. Faction’s joint-venture with Lightspeed pairs a crypto-native team with the company-scaling experience of the Lightspeed platform.” – Sam Harrison, Managing Partner, and Banafsheh Fathieh, General Partner, Lightspeed Faction.

“Lightspeed has been selectively investing in crypto since March 2013, and we believe that cryptocurrency can have a positive impact on a population of people who are underbanked or unbanked not only in the U.S. but globally,” said Ravi Mhatre, Partner, Lightspeed.

“We believe the industry is still in the transition from web2 to web3, and the collaboration between Lightspeed and Faction is a testament to our belief in the ways that cryptocurrency may help to develop a web that better serves underserved people around the world.”

Taken together, this capital framework will position Lightspeed and its global partners to continue to serve founding teams, technologies and trends that are accelerating the innovation economy. Lightspeed remains more committed than ever to the mission of serving the world’s most extraordinary people building tomorrow’s companies, today.