Foundry Group Plans Effort To Invest In Other Funds

Boulder-based venture investor Foundry Group, which has had a long run of successes as a venture fund investor, said today that it has launched a new effort--called Foundry Group Next--to become an investor in other, early stage venture capital firms, as a limited partner. According to Foundry, it has hired on Lindel Eakman, formerly the head of UTIMCO's private equity group, to head up the effort--an unusual move which will shift Foundry Group from making direct investments in companies, to supporting other early stage investors. Eakman is no stranger to Foundry Group, having headed up UTIMCO's efforts to invest in Foundry Group--as well as Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, True Ventures, IA Ventures, and Techstars Ventures--over the past 13 years. The move is a very dramatic move for Foundry Group--and would be, for any venture fund--which typically have not moved to become LPs themselves. Brad Feld, in a blog post describing the move, said the decision to start Foundry Group Next because Foundry was designed to not become a "legacy firm", with younger partners--with plans, when the firm's existing partners are done investing, they will "drop the mic and shut off the lights." UTIMCO is Foundry Group's largest Limited Partner. Limited Partners invest in venture capital firms, and typically are pension funds, institutional investors, and family offices, along with extremely wealthy individuals.