500 Startups Lands New Partners, Files To Raise $50 Million
Big news out of Dave McClure's seed fund/accelerator 500 Startups this morning, some official and some mostly official. The official news: two long-time staffers have been promoted all the way up to the Partner spot (effectively doubling the number of partners at the company), while two new folks have been brought on board as Venture Partners to help flesh out 500's international portfolio.
The almost-official (in that there's a SEC filing, but we haven't gotten a chance to talk to 500 about it yet) news: 500 just filed to raise another $50 million dollars.
Christen O'Brien, previously 500's GM of Business Development (read: she keeps the clock ticking and makes 500's Demo Days and conferences happen), and Paul Singh, previously a Principal at 500, have both been bumped up to full partners, joining Dave McClure and Christine Tsai up at the top of the chart.
Meanwhile, they've also picked up two new Venture Partners: Bedy Yang and George Kellerman. Bedy will help 500 build out their portfolio in Brazil/Latin America, while George will be on the lookout in Japan. Those details are actually pretty important; while 500 has a solid number of international investments (as noted in this infographic), this is the first time they've brought anyone on board specifically to focus on international regions. When I asked Dave about this, he mentioned that they'll likely be bringing someone on to focus on India within the next 3-6 months as well.
Wondering what the heck the difference is between a Partner and a Venture Partner? Don't worry — as Fred Wilson laid out some time ago, the definition for both titles (especially the latter one) varies hugely from firm to firm. To boil it all down: a Partner is a full-timer who determines which companies get investments. A Venture Partner at 500 is someone who, as Dave put it, is "awesome and important, but not yet a full partner. It's not the more part-time definition that other firms have; they're pretty much full time with us." In other words, a Venture Partner is a slightly-less official title for someone they think will be a full partner in the future.
Meanwhile, this SEC filing (which we noted in the ticker earlier today) indicates that 500 is looking to raise another $50 million dollars. Given that 500's first and only round so far came in at $29 million and that they've since had 12 big exits (10 of which are highlighted in this infographic), they'll almost certainly wrap up this new round pretty quick.