left lane closes $1.4b global fund to invest in consumer tech

Left Lane’s first fund weighed in at $630 million. Today, the team is back with $1.4 billion to deploy into growth capital for consumer and internet tech companies across the globe from its offices in New York and London. I spoke with Harley Miller, CEO and managing partner of Left Lane, who closed the $1.4 billion on his 33rd birthday.

“I’m the oldest person on the investment team at the firm — by about a year — but I’ve been doing this for 13 years. It’s the only professional discipline I’ve ever known and I have been working at honing and perfecting that craft,” says Miller. “It’s sort of a rare vantage point because VC was not a traditional asset class or industry that lends itself to an institutionalized Analyst Program where people come right out of school. Typically, there was more of a circuitous path to get there in the past. Maybe you were a banker or consultant and you went to business school. Something that we take to heart is ‘how do you breed professional investors from the ground up and help shape them.’”

Left Lane has made 36 investments into internet and consumer technology companies spanning a dozen countries. The firm targets businesses at key growth inflection points, and leads deals at the Series A to C stage. The firm invests across fintech, edtech, SMB tech, software, food tech, e-commerce, health and wellness, gaming and entertainment, and beyond.

When challenged on the young team — most venture funds tend to be run by people with significant operational or financial experience — Miller pushes back enthusiastically.

“We have a high regard for the human condition — not being a flyover board member. It’s a privilege to be there, as opposed to a duty that where you show up once a quarter and you pontificate just to have your fucking voice be heard. It’s the classic archetype of word vomit,” Miller says, airing his frustrations. “[I’m frustrated with] the VC who doesn’t do jack in diligence, who outsources it to his or her mid-level junior people, and then shows up to the board meeting and for the first six months, asking elementary rudimentary questions. It’s like, ‘Hey, did you not do an iota of diligence? Like these are basic business model questions? Why?’”

Miller encourages founders to be cautious about who to choose as their investors.

“Notably over the last few years, there have been a lot of new tourists coming into the asset class of venture or growth equity. They are all ‘we’re super entrepreneur friendly, we don’t need to take board seats’,” Miller explains. “We don’t do that. It’s not a job for us. It’s a way of life. I think if you come at it with that intentionality, you’re by definition going to be doing better than the vast majority. Just showing up and caring ain’t enough. A lot of funds have this concept of former operators that turn VC, and I think it can be really powerful, but again, make no mistake, it takes years to hone your craft as an investor who has had the pattern recognition across hundreds of deals. You have to have a regard for the human condition. You have to be able to navigate and have a lot of surface area and range of different archetypes and personas of founders that you can work with, whether that’s someone of a different background, religion, creed, race, age, for that matter, geography.”

As the investment community became better and better at investing in SaaS companies, Left Lane decided to go after the spaces that were left behind, in particular internet-enabled consumer tech with recurring business models.

“Amidst a world of generalists mimicking enterprise software, SaaS investors, we saw that whitespace. We are so blessed to have 60 or 70 high-profile CEOs or C-suite operators of internet and consumer technology companies as LPs and advisors,” Miller says, explaining why a lack of operational experience in the firm’s investment ranks isn’t as big of an issue as I was trying to make of it. “We really bring that work to bear on behalf of our existing and future portfolio.”

The company invests in the Series A-C range, and it likes to lead the rounds it is involved in. The team suggests that the sweet spot for its investments ranges from $5 million on the lower end of the scale, up to $75 million checks for the higher end.

TECH NEWS RELATED

How to grow your startup with email marketing using Gmail

You've got a great idea for a startup, and you're ready to make it happen.  You don’t have a surefire marketing strategy in mind yet. But you know one thing - you gotta have an active email list ASAP.    

View more: How to grow your startup with email marketing using Gmail

PP Control & Automation launches PP+ to help bridge ‘valley of death’

A UK manufacturing outsourcing specialist is aiming to help domestic businesses cross the well-publicised ‘valley of death’.

View more: PP Control & Automation launches PP+ to help bridge ‘valley of death’

What tech startups are doing to combat Parkinson’s disease

Startups Magazine looks at the amazing work that startups are doing with AI and other tech to bolster the medical world’s diagnosis, treatment, and overall understanding of Parkinson’s disease.

View more: What tech startups are doing to combat Parkinson’s disease

Google will reimburse developers $90 million to settle a lawsuit over Play Store earnings

Google said Thursday it will pay $90 million to settle a lawsuit with US developers that accused Google of abusing its power of app distribution and charging an unfair fee of 30% for app purchases and in-app purchases made through the Play Store. The company noted that US developers who ...

View more: Google will reimburse developers $90 million to settle a lawsuit over Play Store earnings

Bringing an idea to market

The demand for app development doesn't show signs of getting slower any sooner. As apps are an accessible type of technology, where people can have access from anywhere, the consumers' interest in this technology is vital. Therefore, many companies are taking this trend and changing their traditional environment to mobile for effective business positioning. But developing an app isn't easy and takes time and teamwork for a positive outcome.

View more: Bringing an idea to market

Meta’s co-accused Sama to retain BCorp status until case is determined

Meta’s main subcontractor for content moderation in Africa, Sama, will retain its BCorp certification until the case against it in Kenya, over claims of union busting and exploitation, is determined. The referenced case, which also includes allegations against Meta, was filed in May this year by Daniel Motaung, a ...

View more: Meta’s co-accused Sama to retain BCorp status until case is determined

Sharpen your credit card, the Apple Store is down

At June’s WWDC, Apple launched a slew of new and exciting products, only to mention that they’d be available to order at some point later this month. Well, as the end of the month draws closer by the minute, it looks like Apple is updating its store, presumably to ...

View more: Sharpen your credit card, the Apple Store is down

Early-stage VC investments in Q1FY23 up 30% on year even as growth-stage investments come under pressure

(Representative Image) Early-stage venture capital (VC) investments in India rose by nearly a third in the first quarter of 2022-23 (FY23) from a year earlier as investors turned cautious and made smaller-sized and longer-duration bets amid a correction in global financial markets. In April-June 2022, early-stage VC investments in ...

View more: Early-stage VC investments in Q1FY23 up 30% on year even as growth-stage investments come under pressure

China’s tech giants promise speculation-free NFTs

Visby Medical tests positive for a Series E extension at $1B+ valuation

Micro-pyramid lenses triple light hitting solar panels

Crypto wants its own iPhone

Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing Track Edition Teased, Ordering Opens In August

How to Set Up Windows 11 Virtual Desktops

How to change font size on iPhone

World of Warcraft reintroduced rare transmog helms for Prime Gaming

Microsoft Exchange servers worldwide hit by stealthy new backdoor

New Redfall Trailer Focuses On the Characters Driving the Story-Focused Shooter

Nintendo Treehouse Returns To Play Live A Live

Climate activists poised to shift focus to states, businesses after EPA ruling

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News