Specifically, he told this reporter, “I am not leaving DFJ. Ever. I am just skipping a fund to do some work building Draper University” — which is Draper’s boarding school for aspiring entrepreneurs — “and experimenting with new models for venture capital.”
He’d added at the time: “I will of course be an investor in any new fund we create.”
That last part is true; Draper remains an investor in DFJ’s funds, including its newest, $350 million, vehicle, closed in February.
As for just skipping a fund, it looks more permanent than that. In fact, Draper is announcing today that he has just raised a brand new, $190 million early-stage fund that he will co-lead with his son, Billy, as well as Andy Tang.
The brand the trio are using: Draper Associates, which has historically been a personal investment vehicle for Draper. This new fund represents the first time outside investors are involved with it, though Draper remains its biggest limited partner.
Before joining Draper Associates, Billy Draper was most recently a designer at the online rental marketplace Apartment List. Tang, meanwhile, was a longtime managing director at DFJ Dragon Fund; he has also served as the CEO of Draper’s co-working space, Hero City.
Another son of Draper, Adam Draper, separately co-founded and remains very involved with an early-stage accelerator called Boost.vc.
Draper’s father and grandfather were famously VCs.
Of his newest fund, he says the capital has already been used to invest in a dozen companies, including Compology, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based logistics company for the waste management industry. The company, which has raised an undisclosed amount of funding, puts its sensor into dumpsters, enabling garbage companies to increase the efficiency of their routes based on how full the dumpsters are.
Draper Associates has also recently backed Verge Genomics, a San Francisco-based Y Combinator alum that raised $4 million in seed funding in November and aims to analyze multiple genes at once to find drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.
In an email exchange late last week, Draper said Draper Associates has a wide array of interests. He said that for now, however, it’s particularly focused on big industries that “haven’t budged,” including finance, healthcare and government.