MENLO PARK, CA -So, what does Lady Gaga and venture capital have in common? Menlo Ventures , which formally unveiled the Menlo Talent Fund, a $20 million seed fund carved out of its $400M fund MV-XI Tuesday. Its “Founder’s Council includes Troy Carter, founder and chairman of Atom Factory, a music management brand, who manages such artists such as Lady Gaga.
The Fund is designed to make speedy investments in promising seed-stage startups and founding teams. Menlo Talent Fund will make decisions to commit $50,000 to $1M in select startups in as little as 24 hours. In order to make these quick decisions, only two Menlo Ventures Managing Directors will be required for investments up to $250,000.
Menlo partners will not take board seats on any companies funded by Menlo Talent Fund. The fund was financed last October with the closing of Menlo Ventures XI. It has already invested in eight companies, including: The Backplane, CakeHealth, Comprehend, LeanLaunchLab, Parse, RG Labs, and Tracksby. One company is yet to be announced.
“Shervin is awesome. He and the team at Menlo immediately grasped our business and provided holistic support for us through the financing and other counsel. I would recommend the Menlo Talent Fund to anyone,” said Alex Moore CEO of The BackPlane.
“There is a war for talent today- to build companies of consequence founders need to attract exceptional people,” said Shervin Pishevar, a managing director of Menlo Ventures.
“We are seizing the opportunity to support the next crop of leading companies with the Menlo Talent Fund, focused on helping great founding teams access capital quickly to build and scale their companies with the talent, mentorship and guidance they need to win.” Pishevar added.
Menlo Ventures also announced the creation of Menlo Founders Council, a master’s council consisting of mentors, advisors and investors to support entrepreneurs at Menlo-sponsored retreats and events.
“I’m looking forward to working with Menlo Founders Council, as I believe the future of our economy and technological growth resides in the establishment and success of new entrepreneurs and companies,” commented Carter,
Menlo Ventures provides venture capital funding for seed, early stage and growth technology companies. Since its founding in 1976, the firm has invested successfully in more than 360 companies, including 3PAR, Ironport Systems, Siri, Playspan, Roku, Coraid, and Vidyo. Its past and current portfolio includes more than 70 public companies and more than 100 mergers or acquisitions. It has $4 billion under management and is currently investing Menlo Ventures XI, a $400M fund.