On Friday, Haystack Ventures filed amended paperwork with the SEC disclosing the firm has raised $50 million for its fifth flagship venture capital fund. The fund is oversubscribed from its initial target of $40 million, as stated in a filing made in October 2018, before any capital was officially raised for the new fund.
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According to the regulatory disclosure, investors first committed capital to Fund V on October 5, 2018. The narrow intervals between capital raises for its flagship funds points to the “always be (fund-)raising” nature of boutique firms like Haystack. A combination of small fund sizes and high investment velocity means that general partners at these firms are almost always talking to limited partners.
The filing lists Semil Shah as the fund’s solo general partner. Shah started Haystack in 2013, raising $40 million for his first fund. “Haystack Funds I and II were fortunate to invest at the key inflection points of outstanding companies,” Shah wrote on the firm’s website.
Haystack’s more successful portfolio companies include DoorDash, Instacart, Carta, Giphy, and Wag. According to Crunchbase data, its most recent investments include direct-to-consumer low-alcohol aperitif brand Drink Haus (Haystack led its late-June pre-seed round) and restaurant operations platform BentoBox.
Prior to entering the investment world full-time, Shah worked at a number of early-stage startups including Swell, Rexly, and Votizen. In 2012, Shah also started and hosted “In the Studio,” a video interview series produced by TechCrunch.
Shah did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication. We will update this article as we learn more.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias