Founders Fund: The Quest for Great Teams and Game-Changing Technologies

By John Glynn, Susan Pohlmeyer
2015 | Case No. E588 | Length 16 pgs.

The case examines the development of Founders Fund from a firm with a single, small venture capital fund to a firm with several billion in committed capital under management. The case highlights the challenges the firm has faced as it has grown, such as building out the investor team, maintaining the quality of relationships with the founders it backs, and deploying capital efficiently to the best opportunities. The case also discusses management and investment decisions the firm’s partners have made to remain the VC partner of choice for founders in a changing venture capital environment.

Learning Objective

The objective of the case is to have students think about venture capital investment models from both the perspective of the entrepreneur and of the investor. Students will consider what, as company founders, they would look for in potential investment partners, and what aspects of the Founders Fund model are favorable or unfavorable from the perspective of an entrepreneur. Students will also learn about the challenges of managing a rapidly growing VC firm and maintaining the firm’s value proposition in an evolving investment environment.

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