ff Venture Capital has been giving new meaning to word stealth mode. Tucked into an interview on TechCrunch yesterday was the news, reported for the first time, that the New York City-based seed investment firm had raised a $27 million fund last November. What’s more, it had already invested in 23 companies and expected to finish its goal of 30 to 40 companies perhaps by the end of the year.
According to ff Venture’s—the fund insists on the cummings-style “ff”—Form D filing, which sneakily offers a Roseland, New Jersey address, rather than its Midtown headquarters, the company filed an intent to raise on November, 29, 2010. Partner John Frankel says the firm was already deploying capital from the new “silver” fund even as it was raising the dough. Of the 23 investments, which includes startups like Klout, ThinkNear, Livefyre, Voxy, and Kohort, four have had up rounds. “So, it looks like performance is accelerating,” he told Erick Schonfeld in a video interview.
But ff has another feather in their cap, their previous $6.3 million fund, raised in 2008 “two months after Lehman collapsed,” as Mr. Frankel, a Goldman Sachs refugee, points out. According to him, Prequin ranked that fund, called “ff blue,” the top-performing VC fund through the end of 2010.