, a firm focused exclusively on investing in New York-area startups, has raised $150 million in its third fund for seed investments (its most significant so far) and $50 million for the Select fund used to participate in later-stage rounds. The firm’s portfolio includes New York success stories like Jet.com ( for $3.3 bill billion), Mirror ( for $500 million), and Latch (which is planning to ). And the firm has doubled down on its association with New York by publishing .
Still, the idea of limiting your investments to specific geographywhen offices essentially go unused, teams are increasingly distributed, and some investors are loudly trumpeting new startup hubs. But General Partner Brad Svrluga (who founded the firm with General Partner Ben Sun) told me that the New York focus remains crucial for the firm — for example, in its hire the best employees.
“When you think about [our three-person talent team], their charge is to understand, track, and be connected to the top 10% of all talent in New. “That’s a big, ambitious challenge, but it’s also one we’ve got a perfect shot at doing in relatively confined geography. If we were trying to simultaneously recruit for companies in New York, Seattle, Boston, Austin, L.A., the Bay Area, etc., you can’t do it an army.”
And while he said San Francisco andremain “unquestionably the center of the universe that we operate in, the sun around which everything else revolves,” he suggested that New York has unique advantages: “Unlike the Bay Area, New York is powered by a whole collection of industries. That diversity makes the place radically more resilient.”
That doesn’t mean things won’t. For one thing, Svrluga anticipated that companies that are ostensibly New York-based will be more distributed, with “a relatively lower percentage of their workforce in New York City proper,” and of that NYC workforce, “fewer of them in the office on any given day.” He also hopes startup costs will “shrink materially.”
“I would love it if you and your peers continue to trumpet the demise of New York, so other investors can stop, and we can have a less competitive environment,” he added.
Another change — one not limited to geography — is the growing, which Svrluga said is one of the reasons for the larger fund. He suggested that the , but that doesn’t mean startups raising seed rounds must be further along.
“A whole bunch of what we do has always been way pre-product,” he said. “It could be just a founder or just two-three people …. some early code might be written, but you’re. They can now raise $2.5, $3, and $4 million right out of the gate. In , Primary is announcing that it has appointed Rebecca Price as an operating partner and promoted Jason Shuman.