Austin-based venture firm 8VC, led by controversial Palantir founder Jon Lonsdale, has raised $880 million in its fifth fund.
In a blog post Lonsdale – who serves as 8VC’s general partner – said today that his firm’s mission is to “fix a broken world”.
While he didn’t specify which industries the new fund would target or the average check size, Lonsdale said 8VC now has “over $6 billion in committed capital under management” and plans to invest “at every stage.” and build your own business. He also shared that the 8VC team has grown to over 60 people.
In 2020, 8VC is famous moved his seat from San Francisco to Austin, Texas. Back then Lonsdale tweeted that Austin was “*Far* more tolerant of ideological diversity than SF.” He added, “It’s generally a good idea to have awesome left hippies for great culture/music/food etc… just not that they all run the state .”
Today he wrote that 8VC’s new headquarters in the Texas capital “has become a magnet for contractors and builders from around the world.”
The fund is believed to be the largest Texas-based startup venture fund, according to AustinInno.
Lonsdale’s post about the new fund took on a philosophical tone. “Our civilization faces great challenges, of course, and challenges for entrepreneurship, too,” he wrote. “But as an entrepreneur, broken things offer opportunities. And when we look deeper, we see amazing transformations taking place all around us. AI is changing the world inside and outside of computers; Genetic engineering and new scientific discoveries are changing the world of cells; advanced manufacturing is changing the world of machines; new business models, incentives and innovations to transform the way we receive our healthcare. These are some of our limits.”
Over the years, 8VC has invested in companies across a variety of industries, including logistics, life sciences, healthcare, IT infrastructure, government and defense, financial services, consumer and enterprise. According to Pitchbook, it has made a total of around 500 investments. underneath portfolio company are Asana, Blend, Flexport, hims and hers, Mammoth Biosciences, Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, Qualia and Wish.
Lonsdale has at times attracted as much attention as its portfolio companies. He made headlines early last year, shaking more than a few feathers after his tweets about “awakened” tech diversity. Other controversies he has been involved in include a Separation from previous investment partners and a high-profile lawsuit from a former Stanford student that was later dropped.
Lonsdale also in relation to Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s paternity leave, tweeted In late 2021 that “any man in a position of authority who takes 6 months leave for a newborn… is a loser”.
He has often resisted subsequent backlash, saying his words were misconstrued or taken out of context.
In an article in the New Yorker this month about Austin’s transformation in recent years from a liberal bastion to one “closer to libertarianism than liberalism,” Lonsdale spoke to the article’s author about his adopted homeland and told him that part of their Enchantment is that politics can be discussed civilly.
“In San Francisco,” Lonsdale is quoted as saying, “if I were going up against someone, they would say, ‘You’re a bad person.’ So Texas still has something very healthy about it. I very much hope that we can keep it that way.”
According to SEC filings, 8VC closed its last flagship fund with $640 million in commitments in 2021; it has also raised numerous specialty vehicles in recent years, show submissions.