December 3, 2014
We are excited to announce our new fund. Thank you to the friends, old and new, who supported us as we embark on this next chapter in our firm’s history. To the founders and teams in the Formation 8 family: thank you for taking a chance on us. You are the reason we founded Formation 8. We are inspired by your missions and committed to your success. We are excited for all that is to come.
First, a look back. From the beginning, partnership has been the foundation of Formation 8. In 2011, our vision was to build a globally-minded, mission-driven technology investment firm and partner of choice to top entrepreneurs. We believe sustainable and transformational value creation requires a long-term view, often investing where others may be skeptical. Over the last three years, our business development teams in Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing, and deep networks in Asia have added game-changing value to our companies. As insiders in Asia and Silicon Valley, we help our companies access new markets, customers, supply chain and distribution partners around the world.
We are honored to be a part of many landmark companies. We wish we could tell you all the stories, but to highlight just a few: Wish, the fastest growing mobile commerce company globally, is connecting global merchants, especially in China, to value-conscious consumers around the world. Taxon, a remarkable bioinformatics platform, has shown early results with ground-breaking implications for the global agriculture industry. Radius continues to build a leading data platform with embedded network effects driving impressive growth. And the graduates: RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce.com) and Oculus (acquired by Facebook). As an early and eager customer, we supported RelateIQ from the beginning and are proud to be a part in its tremendous progress. For Formation 8, our investment in Oculus validated our proprietary theses: our Asia networks enabled mission-critical partnerships for the company’s mass-market strategy; we saw the tremendous potential in an unproven hardware/software platform; and we recognized the visionary entrepreneur and the elite team.
The plan for Fund II is (un)remarkably the same. We will continue to back entrepreneurs who are building industry-transforming companies and leverage our networks to build bridges between Asia and the U.S. We seek to identify new platforms in old industries. We celebrate strengths of the full partnership, bringing the best from each perspective to bear, as we believe we are more than a collection of individual investors.
Our partnership has grown over the last three years. From the first eight team members working in a windowless conference room, we are now more than 30 strong across five offices. As you may have seen, Shirish Sathaye joined earlier this year as a General Partner. He brings depth of investing and operating experience across complementary enterprise sectors including software, networking, storage infrastructure and security. We also added a special advisor to the team, Pierre Lamond who needs no introduction in Silicon Valley. As an entrepreneur and seasoned investor, Pierre has mentored us for many years, both at and prior to Formation 8. We hope you have the opportunity to meet our global team in person one day.
We are also excited to announce our first early growth investment in Fund II, YelloMobile. At this unique time in Korean history, the team has the ambitious mission to become the top mobile media platform across Asia. The investment highlights many of our core principles. Our networks in Asia, especially Korea, provide us differentiated access. YelloMobile has attracted the top mobile tech founders in Korea and maintained a culture of “yellopreneurship”. In addition to compelling macro and micro drivers, we see an opportunity to unlock even greater value through partnership between the company and Formation 8.
As we look ahead with eager anticipation, we remain bold and humble, inspired by the entrepreneurs with whom we have the privilege to work.