GFT Ventures Q1 2023 Update
Welcome to the Q1 2023 newsletter from GFT Ventures! We hope you will benefit from our fund updates and portfolio company highlights, as well as our overall industry observations and thought leadership exchanges. Please feel free to share our newsletter with your colleagues and friends using the “Share” button at the bottom of this post. Any additional questions or comments may be directed to email@example.com. And you can always visit our GFT Ventures website to learn more about us.
GFT Ventures Fund I - Progress to Date and Looking Ahead
We’re extremely pleased to report that 2022 turned out to be an incredibly productive year for the Fund! We met, and quite frankly exceeded, even our most aggressive expectations.
We started the Fund with an extremely strong and “early” conviction that modern AI and Data Science techniques would fundamentally transform virtually every business, and every industry, over the coming decades.
Since the Fund’s inception, interest throughout the world in AI has accelerated dramatically. With the frenzy around ChatGPT being just one example, the rest of the VC community is now just starting to see what we saw, and devoted our careers to, years ago.
Not surprisingly, the Fund has now closed on over $120M in committed capital, well in excess of our initial $100M target. If you were thinking about deploying additional capital towards the Fund, now would be an ideal time.
We closed four fantastic startup investments in 2022, bringing our total portfolio count to eight, each one sourced through GFT’s extremely “proprietary” deal flow pipeline.
We feel bullish about the future as well. Specifically, we are delighted by the associated “rationalization” of startup valuations that we are now seeing and experiencing firsthand. This creates an enormous opportunity for a fund such as ours with deep expertise in the most disruptive technology advancements in our generation (i.e. AI).
As a final note, we’d be remiss not to mention the events of the last several days involving the commercial banks serving the technology community. Since we do not consider ourselves to be experts on the banking system, and are not privy to all the facts and circumstances involved, we will avoid speculating on why this all occurred and what were the underlying causes. What we can say is that we highly value our relationships with the financial institutions involved, and hope that the incredible value they bring to our “ecosystem” can be quickly restored (by them, or others who might step in to fill the void). Also, although we are continuing to closely monitor the situation, at this time GFT’s direct financial exposure (including via our portfolio company investments) appears to be extremely minimal. We will continue to update our Limited Partners directly in this regard, and are happy to discuss with you at your convenience.
Jeff Herbst and Jay Eum
Founding Managing Partners, GFT Ventures
Please join GFT Ventures' virtual fireside chat at 3PM on Monday March 20, 2023, featuring Jeff Herbst (Founding Managing Partner of GFT Ventures) and Dr. Eli David (World-renowned AI Researcher and Lecturer at Bar Ilan University of Israel; Co-Founder and CSO of Deep Instinct, Co-Founder and CTO of DeepCube). The discussion will include updates on the GFT Ventures vision and strategy, as well a candid and thought provoking discussion around the disruptive potential of modern AI technologies.
This conversation will be moderated by Joseph Lee (Partner and Head of Investor Relations at GFT Ventures) and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions via chat.
More details below - to attend, please RSVP here.
GFT Ventures in the Spotlight
GFT Ventures featured in Business Insider as a Top AI Investor
Founding year: 2021
Fund size: $120 million, although the firm is still topping off the fund
Notable deals: Mperative, Switchboard, Mars Auto
Firm description: GFT Ventures was founded in March 2021 by Jeff Herbst and Jay Eum, after their work at the corporate VC arms of Nvidia and Samsung, respectively. The VC firm invests the majority of its capital into seed or Series A AI or data-science startups, with some investment in blockchain applications. GFT's typical first check is around $4 million, and the firm usually prefers to take active board of director seats, Herbst told Insider.
How to get the firm's attention: "We look for the best management teams, preferably with demonstrable track records leveraging AI and/or data science to disrupt entire industries or verticals," Herbst said.
Click here for the full article
Jeff Herbst featured in BrainChip’s podcast series on AI
In the latest episode of BrainChip’s podcast series, GFT Ventures Founding Managing Partner Jeff Herbst and BrainChip CEO Sean Hehir tackle the future of AI together. Jeff’s early intuition about the potential of artificial intelligence led to what he’s called a “maniacal focus” on it. He discusses insights that led to the rapid growth of Nvidia’s AI strategy and how he leverages the knowledge today to invest in the best frontier technology startups at GFT Ventures.
Click here to access the podcast episode
Jay Eum represented GFT Ventures in various conferences
Panelist in Private Equity US Leadership Summit’s session “IR 2.0: Digitising fundraising and investor relations”
Panelist at SuperReturn Asia 2022’s LP/GP Relations & Fundraising Summit; discussion topic was “Emerging managers: flavor du jour or breakout stars?”
Speaker in Association of Asian American Investment Managers (AAAIM)’s National Conference, ELEVATE 2022, in AAAIM Thought Leadership, AAAIM & UC Berkeley Venture Capital Research
Panelist at Korea Startup Forum’s COMEUP 2022 on the session “Why is the Korean Startup Scene Neglected in the Global Market? - Korean Market Analysis in Global Perspective”
Moderator in 2 fireside chats at GCV Asia Congress 2022, including “Fireside chat: Opportunities and Options for Asian CVCs” and “Spotlight Interview: Jay Eum/Dong-Su Kim”