WndrCo officially steps into venture capital with new $450 million across two funds

WndrCothe holding company and technology investment firm founded by founders Sujay Jaswa and Jeffrey Katzenberg, raised its first venture capital fund, closing more than $450 million in capital commitments.

Katzenberg is known as the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG. Jaswa was a director at New Enterprise Associates before joining Dropbox as one of the company's first employees.

We profiled the 8-year-old company in 2022 after noticing how often WndrCo's name became associated with venture capital deals in a short period of time. “The common thread through everything is that we're really looking for founders who we think have an opportunity to solve an important problem,” Jaswa told JS at the time.

That view has not changed. Today, Katzenberg and Jaswa, along with general partners ChenLi Wang, Anthony Saleh and Jeffrey Nykun, manage $1.5 billion in assets through their Build, Venture and Seed strategies.

With the Build strategy, WndrCo often acquires controlling stakes in undervalued technology companies to turn them into category leaders, for example digital security companies Aura and Pango. The Venture Strategy focuses on founders who are reshaping industries, with a strong preference to be the leading institutional investor. WndrCo's venture portfolio includes 1Password, Airtable, Databricks, Deel and Figma. The Seed fund invests early in the next generation of entrepreneurs and has made investments in companies such as Yassir, Material Security, Pilot, Quince, Socket and Twelve Labs.

Katzenberg and Jaswa started fundraising for the new funds a year and a half ago, and Jaswa said they “timed it perfectly” in terms of fundraising between the time there was a major recession and “a period when people felt like venturing . had become too frothy.”

“It was a unique moment to raise our first traditional venture capital funds,” he said. “We have been fortunate to be involved with some of the best entrepreneurs and companies, but ultimately it takes time as you start a new set of relationships.”

The new capital will be distributed across new Seed and Venture funds focused on startups innovating in the future of work, consumer technology, cybersecurity and developer infrastructure.

WndrCo closes 15 deals a year in Seed Investing with an average check size of $500,000, Katzenberg said. The Seed fund will invest “more venture capital than what we had done before” and create one or two companies per year, he said.

Of the new funds, WndrCo has invested in three companies, including Writer, a generative AI platform for businesses, and Alembic, which helps chief marketing officers understand return on investment when it comes to brand spend. One of the Build companies was founded ten months ago and is still in stealth mode.

The company is looking for new technology that can help society solve a problem that has not been solved before. Then if it can find entrepreneurs to build it, WndrCo will give them money, Jaswa said. This most recently includes artificial intelligence.

“Over the past five months we have seen a pretty significant acceleration in the quality and quantity of opportunities,” Katzenberg added. “That was very different from 2023. These things tend to happen and accelerate around platform changes or platform introduction, and AI actually seems to be the next big transformative moment around technology for us.”

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