We are thrilled to announce the close of Xfund 2. But we really think of it as a new opening.
Formed in January 2011, Experiment Fund, LLC, was the first ever partnership between four of the nation’s most successful venture capital firms—NEA, Breyer Capital, Accel Partners and Polaris Partners. Experiment Fund, LLC was anchored at Harvard.* Since our founding we’ve been an early-stage venture capital firm dedicated to investing in technically-gifted liberal arts entrepreneurs. Xfund has always been open to everyone, whether or not you went to Harvard or MIT (or to college).
Since we began operations just under two years ago, over 3,500 founding teams from around the world have sought Xfund’s help. We managed to meet about a third of these teams and were privileged to work directly with a handful as investors, board members, and friends. With this new round of funding we’ve got the resources to help even more teams.
We are often asked what makes Xfund different from other venture capital firms. First, we have a unique structure—a combination of the nation’s top-tier venture firms and strong relationships with leading university faculty.
However, we stand out the most in the quality and type of founders we back.
At Xfund we believe technical talent is necessary, but not sufficient, to build incredible companies—that entrepreneurs with grounding in the liberal arts often make more insightful innovators and entrepreneurs. Cherry Murray, Dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, tells a great story of a team of scientists who sought to build the perfect mosquito net: they painstakingly optimized the net’s mesh size, tensile strength, and concentration of insecticide to create an inarguably amazing product. But when they manufactured and distributed thousands of them to villages in Uganda and Kenya, the nets went entirely unused: they were colored white, which in those cultures is the color of death.
The liberal arts cultivate thinking that is both practical and magical. As Steve Jobs said, “technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.” With us you can be a hacker and a historian. You can be a techno-utopian and an aesthete. We look for minds that stretch laterally and not just linearly. We want the innovator who knows how to design an incredible mosquito net, and knows to make it black.
So if you’re able to connect to a real human problem and have an idea of how to solve it, here’s what you’ll get from Xfund: the support of a partnership of the nation’s most renowned investing groups, and with the launch of Xfund 2, a significant pool of capital powering a new class of companies that will make all our hearts sing. Drop us a line or come visit us in our original office in Cambridge or our new office in Silicon Valley and find out how differently we think. And how differently we act.
Patrick and Hugo
* Xfund is a separate legal entity from Harvard and actively supports teams with no Harvard affiliation. Harvard does not influence Xfund’s investment decisions.