Goodwater Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses exclusively on consumer tech investments, has successfully closed $1 billion in capital commitments across its fifth early-stage fund and its third opportunity-style fund. Despite the broader cooling interest in consumer tech, Goodwater has managed to secure significant funding, demonstrating the firm’s strong position in the market.
Goodwater’s Journey and Portfolio
Founded by Chi-Hua Chien, formerly of Kleiner Perkins, and Eric Kim, long of Maverick Capital, Goodwater Capital has backed 79 early- and growth-stage startups across 19 countries. The firm has seen a handful of notable exits over its nine-year history, including the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, the Croatian math app Photomath, the cash-back offers startup DOSH, and the personalized vitamin company Care/of.
Genesis: Goodwater’s Seed-Stage Investment Platform
Goodwater has also issued checks to 600 seed-stage startups across 50 countries through a platform it has developed called Genesis. This platform features “master class” level programming via pre-recorded modules by industry leaders. To gain admission, teams need only apply online; Goodwater’s minimal threshold for startups is that they have tens of thousands of users and tens of thousands of dollars in initial revenue.
Goodwater’s Investment Strategy
Despite an uncertain economic environment and growing customer acquisition costs that have driven many venture firms to dial back on funding products and services that depend on attracting and retaining individual customers, Goodwater remains committed to consumer tech. The firm’s definition of consumer tech is broad and includes housing, healthcare, food, financial services, transportation, education, and entertainment.
Global Investment and Future Plans
More than half of Goodwater’s capital is committed to startups outside North America, primarily in Europe, North Asia, and Southeast Asia. This global investment strategy has led them into deals like Stash, a New York–based investing app for beginners; the global live entertainment platform Fever, which is based in both Madrid and London; and a Seoul-based neighborhood social app called Karrot.
As Goodwater continues to invest from its new funds, it is also laying the groundwork for future investments. The firm’s partners are confident in their strategy of leaning in while others are running in the opposite direction, believing that addressing consumer needs will never go out of style.
This funding round marks a significant milestone for Goodwater Capital as it continues to invest in consumer tech, setting the stage for a new era in the venture capital industry.
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