Featuring 5am Ventures and The Chernin Group
Hello again! Welcome to The VC Connection, Connect’s Venture Capital newsletter. Where we showcase exceptional VC firms, giving you better insight into their areas of focus and investment criteria. We hope that this newsletter will shine some light in the deep waters of Venture Capital.
This week we are showcasing 5am Ventures and The Chernin Group. Two amazing firms covering the LifeSci and Consumer Media/Tech side of Venture Capital.
The VC Connection is a semi-regular, ongoing newsletter where we profile funds that we have developed relationships with. If you would like to see other firms we know, feel free to browse through our curated VC List, “Other VC Firms.”
Founded in 2002, 5AM Ventures is focused on supporting and building the next generation of life science companies, with a focus on drug discovery and development and platform technologies.
5AM begins deploying its company-building efforts in the early institutional financing rounds of exciting new companies that are demonstrating strides in breakthrough science. In addition, operational resources are dedicated to early company incubation efforts through the firm’s 4:59 Initiative which assists in discovering, incubating, and funding promising early science. Beyond this, 5AM reserves capital to support continued and later stages of financing, and can also invest in companies in the later-stage and public markets through its 5AM Opportunities II, L.P. fund.
With $2.2B assets under management 5AM is currently investing out of its two latest funds, 5AM Ventures VII, L.P., which has capital commitments totaling $450M and 5AM Opportunities II, L.P. which has capital commitments totaling $300M.
In addition to investing capital, 5AM brings deep board-level and operational expertise to each of its portfolio companies. 5AM’s team includes leading scientists, entrepreneurs, experienced operators, and venture partners and advisors that provide value beyond the cap table. 5AM hopes to realize attractive returns within three to five years upon their investment and strives to maximize investor returns. 5AM has offices in both San Francisco and Boston and invests in companies across the U.S. as well as globally.
Thesis: Life Science Startups
Industry: Biopharmaceuticals, Drug Delivery Technologies, Life Science Research Instruments
Location: San Francisco, CA & Boston, MA
Stage: Seed & Series A+
Initial Investment Size: $500k to $10M
SD Portfolio Companies: Ambrx, Artiva Biotherapeutics, Bird Rock Bio, Cidara Therapeutics, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Escient Pharmaceuticals, Radionetics, Scientist.com, and Wildcat Discovery Technologies
The Chernin Group is an investment firm based in Los Angeles with additional offices in San Francisco and New York. The firm focuses on investing in consumer focused media and tech companies, where half of their fund concentrates on traditional growth investments, usually Series B and later, and the other half targets emerging niche markets with passionate audiences. Where customers identify themselves within that niche vertical above all other identities they hold. This can be seen with Chernin Group’s previous investments in Meat Eater (hunters) and Surfline (surfers). Where these consumers see themselves as “hunters” first or “surfers” first. Additionally, the Chernin Group uses their media connections to leverage and grow the companies they work with.
The firm currently has over $1B in assets under management and previously raised more than $700M in their last fundraising round. As the firm continues to grow they continue to look for additional capital to accelerate and expand their investment thesis. The firm is currently looking to raise their next fund at $1B, to expand their reach and invest in new markets and verticals in the ever evolving world we live in.
Thesis: Consumer Companies Defining Culture
Industry: Digital Media, Commerce, Marketplaces, Sports, Gaming, Consumer Finance, and Health and Wellness
Location: Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY
Stage: Series B+, Buyouts, and Rollups
Initial Investment Size: $30M+
Notable Investments: Surfline, Barstool Sports, Crunchyroll, Headspace, Exploding Kittens, and Meat Eater
Here at Connect our mission is to help San Diego’s incredible startup companies grow and succeed. One way we do that is by connecting our startups to venture capitalists. If you are interested in getting connected with our network, we recommend you apply to our program, Springboard. Where you get the opportunity to speak with expert advisors.
Keep on charging forward,
The Connect Team