Maven Ventures Secures $60M for Fund IV, Proving Continued Enthusiasm for Consumer Tech Investing

When prolific venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Hippeau announced in early 2024 they were pivoting away from consumer tech, it sparked a social media debate about whether there are still opportunities. Jumping in, Maven will be there helping to build the next game-changing health AI company or robotics AI consumer business, he said. Scheinman started the firm in 2013 and brought in Deshpande soon after to focus on consumer AI and personalized medicine. They brought in investment partner Robert Ravanshenas in 2015, and again in 2020 after a stint in a startup operating role, to focus on fintech, longevity and consumer AI. Together the trio remains committed to seeding similar consumer tech trends, including applications of AI, personalized healthcare, climate and sustainability, family technology and fintech.

When two prominent venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Hippeau, announced their decision to shift away from the consumer tech sector in early 2024, it caused quite a stir on social media. Many debated whether this move signified the end of opportunities in this space. But Jim Scheinman and Sara Deshpande of Maven Ventures beg to differ. In fact, they have just raised $60 million for their fourth fund, firmly believing in the massive potential of consumer tech trends.

They stand by their conviction, given the notable success of companies like Zoom and Cruise, which they had initially invested in. Scheinman, the founding managing partner, is even credited with coming up with the name “Zoom”. Despite the current narrative that consumer tech is no longer a lucrative area to invest in, Scheinman told TechCrunch that this is far from the truth. Like any other industry, consumer tech is subject to cycles of popularity where consumers either embrace or reject products. Currently, it may appear to be in a lull, but Scheinman sees this as the perfect time to invest. The noise and competition are at a minimum, providing a prime opportunity to invest.

Reflecting on his experience as an investor, Scheinman noted that the internet, mobile, and cloud computing have all been major platforms he has witnessed in his career. He had pinned high hopes on web3 being the next big thing, but it was eventually eclipsed by artificial intelligence. However, he sees this as an exciting new frontier for Maven Ventures to venture into, with the potential to back game-changing companies in the healthcare and robotics industries.

“This is absolutely the time when multi-billion-dollar companies are born,” Scheinman confidently stated, emphasizing the next three to four years as critical for identifying and supporting the next household names. With that in mind, Maven Ventures has been actively seeking investment opportunities in sectors such as AI, personalized medicine, climate and sustainability, family technology, and fintech.

The success of their existing portfolio reinforces their investment strategy, with a remarkable 16% of companies reaching a minimum $500 million exit or valuation, 10 times above the industry average, according to Scheinman and Deshpande, general partner at Maven Ventures.

Founded in 2013, Scheinman brought Deshpande on board soon after to focus on consumer AI and personalized medicine. In 2015, they welcomed investment partner Robert Ravanshenas and welcomed him back in 2020 after his stint in a startup operating role, to specifically focus on fintech, longevity, and consumer AI.

Together, the trio remains committed to identifying and supporting the next major consumer tech trends through their investments. After raising a total of $200 million and making over 50 investments, including six to eight investments per year with an average amount of $1-1.5 million, Maven Ventures has invested in seven new companies so far with their fourth fund. Examples include Medeloop, a platform that improves clinical research, Lutra AI, a startup that develops AI workflows from natural language, and AI agent company Multion.

The team’s focus for this new fund is to invest in founders with unique insights on how their technology can positively impact consumers’ lives. In addition, they are constantly considering how to leverage AI advancements to enhance the overall consumer experience. Deshpande highlights this as an integral part of their investment strategy, stating that “figuring out how, with this new emergence and improvement in AI technology, do we envision that we can actually improve life for consumers all the way to the consumer.”

She firmly believes that consumer trends will never cease to exist, as the spending power of consumers is a vital component of a healthy economy. For Maven Ventures, the key is to constantly be on the lookout for emerging technologies or changes in consumer behavior that have the potential to drastically impact people’s lives. With an eye for exceptional founders and their bold visions, Maven Ventures continues to invest in the most promising consumer tech trends of today and tomorrow.

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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