WndrCo officially enters venture capital with new $450 million in two funds

WndrCo, the technology holding and investment firm founded by founding partners Sujay Jaswa and Jeffrey Katzenberg, raised its first venture capital fund and closed more than $450 million in capital commitments.

Katzenberg is known for being the former president of Walt Disney Studios and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG. Jaswa was a director at New Enterprise Associates before joining Dropbox as one of the company’s first employees.

We profiled the company 8 years into 2022 after noticing how many times WndrCo’s name was associated with venture capital deals in a short period of time. “The common thread throughout is that we’re really looking for founders who we think have a chance of solving an important problem,” Jaswa told TechCrunch at the time.

That vision has not changed. Katzenberg and Jaswa, along with general partners ChenLi Wang, Anthony Saleh and Jeffrey Nykun, today manage $1.5 billion in assets through their Build, Venture and Seed strategies.

With the Build strategy, WndrCo often acquires controlling stakes in underrated technology companies to turn them into category leaders, for example, digital security companies Aura and Pango. The Venture strategy targets founders who are reshaping industries, with a strong preference for being the lead institutional investor. WndrCo’s portfolio of companies includes 1Password, Airtable, Databricks, Deel and Figma. Its seed fund invests early in the next generation of entrepreneurs and has made investments in companies such as Yassir, Material Security, Pilot, Quince, Socket and Twelve Labs.

Katzenberg and Jaswa started fundraising for the new funds a year and a half ago, and Jaswa said they “timed it perfectly” in terms of fundraising between when there was a major recession and “a period when people were eager to venture out.” It had become too frothy.”

“It was a unique moment to raise our first classic venture funds,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate to be involved with some of the best entrepreneurs and companies, but at the end of the day, when you start a new set of relationships, it takes time.”

The new capital is distributed into new seed and venture funds that target startups innovating in the areas of the future of work, consumer technology, cybersecurity and development infrastructure.

WndrCo makes 15 deals a year in seed investments with an average check size of $500,000, Katzenberg said. The seed fund will invest “more venture capital than we’ve done before” and create one or two companies a year, he said.

With the new funding, WndrCo has invested in three companies, including Writer, a generative AI platform for businesses, and Alembic, which helps CMOs understand return on investment when it comes to brand spend. One of his construction companies was created 10 months ago and is still in stealth mode.

The firm seeks new technology that allows society to solve a problem that had not been solved before. Then, if you can find entrepreneurs who are building it, WndrCo gives them money, Jaswa said. This most recently includes artificial intelligence.

“Over the last five months, we’ve seen a pretty significant acceleration in the quality and quantity of opportunities,” Katzenberg added. “That was quite different from 2023. These things usually happen and accelerate around platform changes or platform introduction, and for us AI actually seems to be the next big transformative moment around technology.” ”.

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