Founders Circle starts raising second fund

The direct secondaries firm focuses on providing capital to founders, executives and employees of venture capital-backed start-ups who seek liquidity.

Direct secondaries firm Founders Circle launched its second fund, Founders Circle Capital II, this week, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The target is still undisclosed. The firm is currently managing $195 million, raised through the 2014-vintage $160 million Founders Circle Capital I and Founders Circle Capital I Opportunity Fund I, which brought in an additional $35 million later that year, according to PEI’s Research and Analytics division.

The firm was founded in 2012 and focuses on providing liquidity in secondaries transactions to venture capital-backed companies.

Founders Circle offers liquidity to start-ups’ founders or executives, either through a direct purchase or through a deferred purchase by guaranteeing a loan from Silicon Valley Bank, which is a strategic partner of the firm. It can also organise one-time or annual programmes to purchase a defined portion of an employee’s vested common stock or stock options.

The San Francisco-based firm follows what it calls the 40 Rule when investing, focusing on companies with $40 million or more in revenue, gross margins of 40 percent and 40 percent of compound annual growth rate. Past investments include Pinterest, Dollar Shave Club and DocuSign.

Founders Circle has five main employees, including co-founders and managing directors Chris Albinson, Mike Jung and Ken Loveless, plus Mark Dempster and Andrew Boston.

The firm was not immediately available to comment.