MESA+, a four-year old venture arm of the investment bank and strategic advisory firm MESA Global, is launching a $10 million venture fund today for seed stage and Series A investments. The fund will be allocated towards companies in consumer Internet, digital content, advertising, marketing, and commerce and focus on investments in New York, from the Mesa+’s Union Square headquarters.
“Since its inception, MESA has worked hard to connect startups with our network in the media and entertainment world,” the company said in a press release, noting that, “we are a startup ourselves.” The firm has ballooned from four people to more than 25, including its three partners: Jacob Brody, Andrew Montgomery, and Mark Patricof.
Mr. Brody, a fixture in the city’s startup scene, is a mentor at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable accelerator and on the advisory board of Livelyhoods, a non-profit that empowers impoverished children in Africa by training them to become direct sales reps. Mr. Montgomery is also a VP at MESA Global, where he’s worked on financing and M&A deals with clients like Blue Man Group, Interpublic Group, and Fantasy Sports Ventures.
Mr. Patricof, son of long-time venture capitalist (and one-time runway model!) Alan Patricof, is also a managing partner at MESA Global. He cofounded <kpe>, leading clients like CBS, Sony, and Viacom toward the transition to digital. He started his career at Creative Artists Agency and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In a statement about the fund, Mr. Patricof noted the firm’s crossover appeal between tech, media, and entertainment: “These industries have increasingly become intertwined; the complex relationship between these industries has made it difficult for many entrepreneurs to build their businesses.”
In the press release, MESA+ also offered some details about the fund as well as its frequent co-investors:
MESA+ expects to invest in 50 to 70 companies alongside high quality co-investment partners. We are off to a great start having already invested in 7 companies in New York and California alongside funds including Lerer Ventures, Google Ventures, IA Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, True Ventures, Floodgate and Betaworks. We are able to invest globally, however our focus will be on the New York market where MESA has a hometown footprint. MESA+ will not lead investment rounds or take board seats, but we will be a trusted partner to our portfolio companies by providing recruiting assistance, strategic advice, PR and business development opportunities.
MESA+ has an impressive group of limited partners that fit well with its investment focus on digital media, including Conde Nast, Saban Capital, and Sony Music. The fund’s LP advisory committee includes Andrew Siegel, senior VP of strategy and corporate development at Advance Publications, parent company to both Conde Nast and Reddit, as well as Jonathan Miller, News Corp’s former chief digital officer. For its startup bona fides, that list of advisors also includes Dan Maccarone, cofounder and CEO at Charming Robot and cofounder at Hard Candy Shell, which designed the original UX for Hulu, Foursquare, Rent the Runway and Jetsetter.