Sequoia Capital and Bain Ventures are among the prominent investors backing venture firm Kearny Jackson’s second fund, the early-stage-focused firm said on Wednesday. He said he was preparing to invest.
Kearny Jackson, founded by former Spotify exec Sriram Krishnan, has announced the closure of its second $14 million fund. Former Menlo Ventures also hired VC Sunil Chhaya as co-GP.
Named after the street where the two long-time friends hung out over the years, the fund plans to continue investing in SaaS, fintech and infrastructure security companies, and will continue to invest in them. It aims to find early and fund pre-seed and seed rounds, it said.
“From KJ2, we would like to invest $150,000 to $300,000 in pre-seed or seed-stage startups. Occasionally Series A. We want 0.5% to 2% ownership as a direction. So we are happy to cooperate with them.We will lead the VC in these rounds.With the addition of Sunil Chhaya, we are considering increasing the check size beyond KJ2,” Krishnan told TechCrunch.
Numerous venture investors including Marc Andreessen of a16z, Chris Dixon, Doug Pepper of Iconiq, Greg Stanger, Arnav Bhimbet, Will Griffith, Divesh Makan, co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian, Mark Woolley of Blackrock, and co-founder of Polygon A number of operators including Jaynti Kanani and Microsoft’s Manik Gupta are also backing the fund.
Menlo Ventures, Kleiner Perkins and Foundation Capital are also LPs of the fund.
“We are very honored to have them return again for KJ2 and look forward to deepening our relationship with them. We have greatly benefited from connecting with top-notch investors who also provide valuable insight and guidance,” said Krishnan.
It’s worth noting that so many operators and VCs endorse Kearny Jackson. According to Krishnan, the company provides quality referrals of founders to larger funds, which is “a win-win for founders/VCs.”
Kearny Jackson backed Sprig with a pre-seed round and introduced the founders to First Round Capital’s Bill Trenchard. The two hit it off, with First Round Capital seeding him in Sprig and leading his round. Another of his Kearny Jackson portfolio startups, Unit, is backed by Accel and Insight Partners. CTRLStack’s seed funding round, as well as two of his KJ portfolio companies, Cortex’s seed and Series A funding rounds, were led by Sequoia Capital.
Both Krishnan and Chaya have made a string of successful investments over the years. Krishnan has invested in Figma, Notion, Airbase, AngelList, Sorare, Calm and Khatabook, for example. Chaya, who also worked at Piper Jaffrey, Tenaya Capital and Nextworld, has raised and deployed more than $60 million, which is now valued at about $500 million, he said.
The duo’s joint GP said they plan to host a number of events this year in San Francisco and New York, along with other funds, for founders and people looking to launch their ventures. Kearney-Jackson distributed about 20% of the initial $3.6 million fund in 2018, according to Krishnan.
“I have worked with dozens of investors in my career so far, but when it comes to added value, Kearney Jackson is the absolute top. Partner and original investor, when I was working on CtrlStack’s vision and looking at sequencing and resources, KJ helped me refine our strategic vision and accelerate our efforts towards Product/Market Fit. Nag, who sold his previous startup Wavefront to VMWare, is also an LP of the fund.