All of these moments represent that little thing called “life.” And “life happens” every day for the extraordinary people building today’s largest and fastest-growing startups.
When life unexpectedly knocks on their door, it can be critically important on the personal front and unavoidably distracting on the work front. Allowed to linger without a solution, the pressure build-up might cause a leader or a team member to pursue a financial path that isn’t in the best interest of the company (e.g. finding a broker to sell or pledge one’s stock without company consent; reluctantly resigning for a higher-paying job at a public company; acquiescing to acquisition offers in order to create a wealth event for the team and their families).
These are the very reasons Founders Circle exists.
And they are why our partners are thrilled to announce the launch of Fund II.
Fund II is $208 million, earmarked for aligned-liquidity programs designed to help solve for life’s needs while instilling patience and re-energizing the team for the good work that lies ahead.
The companies we work with are much more than two engineers, some code, and a dog. We aim to serve the very best technology startups, backed by the very best venture firms. These breakaway-growth companies (#breakawaygrowth), as we call them, have reached or exceeded the 40 Rule: revenue of at least $40 million, along with annual growth and gross margins of at least 40 percent.
They’re typically five to seven years old when the pressure valve of life starts rising for founders and early employees, who most likely started with the company while residing in a crummy one-bedroom apartment. They didn’t care at the time, because they mostly lived at the office. But now they’re married, have kids, and are bursting at the financial seams. Their aims are simple: to provide their families with a few comforts and to retire obligations that have accumulated.
Nobody understands this dynamic tension better than the corporate-development and recruiting groups at companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, who possess a rich currency to attract the best talent from fast-growing companies. The high salaries and signing bonuses they can offer employees, as well as the acquisition terms they can offer executives, can knock a startup off its tracks.