Blog by David Goldberg / June 17, 2015

Corigin Ventures FAQ

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We meet with dozens of founders (and other interesting people) a week, and we’ve found ourselves answering many of the same questions over and over again. We take some responsibility for this inefficiency, as we don’t do a great job publicizing ourselves, what we stand for, and our processes. So hopefully this will be helpful in saving us some time, and helping founders/investors get to know us just a little bit better.

What is the structure of Corigin Ventures?

Corigin Ventures is the venture capital arm of Corigin Holdings, which also includes Corigin Real Estate Group, an industry leading real estate developer, owner, and operator. Assets include multi-family residential properties across New York, New Jersey, and Miami, as well as a country club in Westchester and a NYC student housing portfolio.

While the two arms (real estate and venture) act somewhat independently, we are collaborative by nature, and leverage our resources whenever possible, usually to the benefit of our portfolio companies.

Is there a fund?

No fund. No LPs. We invest off of our own balance sheet. We think this affords us certain advantages (we’ll get into those shortly).

Who is the team?

The venture team currently consists of Ryan Freedman, Jason Shuman, and myself. We also have a new hire coming onboard (she’ll be starting July 15th), and leverage the internal operations team at Corigin.

What stage do you invest in?

While the ‘no-fund’ thing gives us flexibility to be opportunistic, our core focus is on Seed and Series A investments. Of our 21 current portfolio companies, 16 of our entry-points were at the seed.

What sectors do you target?

We try not to limit ourselves to single verticals. We care more about impassioned founders, large markets, and exponential technology and organizations. That being said, there are some common themes in our portfolio that arise from some bottom-up theses, as well as the experience of our team: Consumer, Marketplaces, On-Demand Economy, Mobile, Pipes/Infrastructure, and Real Estate Tech.

What size checks do you write?

Check sizes to date have ranged from $100k to $1.5M, which is a pretty wide range. For seed deals, we look to invest $100k-$500k, while larger checks are reserved for follow-ons.

What’s your process for making an investment?

We subscribe to the “Two Yes” process. You need to get to/through me, then final approval from our CEO/Chairman, Ryan Freedman. That can take 10 days, or 8 months. We have our own internal processes for what it takes to get to a ‘Yes’, but we can’t share that secret sauce. We are diligent, but can move very quickly if necessary. We’ll never waste a founder’s time (or ours).

Do you lead?

Sometimes (we currently have two board seats, in Zeel and Perch Interactive). More likely in a seed deal than a Series A, and more likely if it’s our core focus.

Do you follow on?

We will always reserve capital for at least one follow-on round, often two.

Do you only make investments in New York?

Our current portfolio spans New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London. We’ve also being keeping an eye on Los Angeles and Miami as ecosystems. Most deals are in New York due to current bandwidth constraints, but we’re always looking to network with interesting people in other markets.

How do you help portfolio companies?

While I could certainly give you my version, your best bet is to speak to the founders of our portfolio companies. Happy to connect you to any of them, or you’re free to reach out on your own and get some candid references.

Who do you invest with?

We pride ourselves on our network, and have co-invested with some of the biggest and baddest VC firms out there (First Round, ForeRunner, Lerer Hippeau, Bowery, Khosla, Thrive, etc.) Given our real estate side of the business, we also bring a unique network of executives, corporate VCs, and family offices that we leverage if/when appropriate.

Want to know more about Corigin Ventures? Ask in the comments. Also, some additional resources: