Less than two years after closing its first $630 million fund, tech and internet investor Left Lane Capital has raised a much larger $1.4 billion.
That’s impressive sums for a budding venture capital manager, especially a company led by four investors in their early 30s. But Left Lane managing partners Harley Miller, Dan Ahrens, Jason Fiedler and Vinny Pujji are far from new to venture capital. They have spent much of their career as investors in Venture capital and stock growth strength Insight Partners.
“I work in venture capital. It’s the only career I’ve ever known,” said Miller, who joined Insight Partners in 2010 after completing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. “I knew at a young age that I was addicted to this industry, and I knew that at some point I would start my own company.”
While at Insight, Miller invested in a number of European consumer-facing companies including DeliveryHero, HelloFresh, Trivago and N26. The founders of these companies became partners and consultants for Left Lane.
Other Miller and Left Lane Partners aren’t the only investors who have left Insight Partners and started their own companies. Scott Maxwell was a Senior Managing Director at Insight prior to launching OpenView Venture Partners in 2006. Likewise, Ben Levine and George McCulloch worked for the New York-based fund before starting Level Equity in 2009.
Miller acknowledged that New York-based Left Lane is unique compared to other successful companies with roots in Insight Partners.
“I don’t think the ‘Insight’ that historically preceded Lift Lane has officially blessed leaving a group, whether in the form of track record attribution, or [to] the support [it] Economically,” Miller said. Insight Partners is a Left Lane LP company, as reported by Insider in 2019.
Left Lane’s focus on consumer technology is complementary to Insight’s core business of investing in enterprise software. “Why would they patronize people to leave to do exactly what they do on a smaller scale and perhaps less quality than what Insight can do?” Miller said.
Despite the track records of Miller and other partners and the support of the Insight Partner, raising the first Left Lane fund was no small feat. “This is not an exaggeration,” Miller said. “We’ve had about 2,000 meetings over the course of a year to get our first fund into its hard cap.”
When Left Lane returned to the market with its second car last year, new and existing limited partners—including an Ivy League grantee—were ready to write even bigger checks. Investors were particularly impressed by the company’s investments in fast-growing companies such as M1 Finance, an investment and advisory platform, and GoStudent, a Vienna-based online education startup.
For its newest cars, Left Lane will continue to support companies primarily in Series A and B lines, writing checks ranging from $5 million to $100 million.
Miller said the company’s 25 investment professionals are conducting deals across North America, Europe and Israel, including companies that are not actively raising funds.
One such company is iTrustCapital, which is a profitable and bootstrap platform that allows people to invest in cryptocurrency from individual 401(k) or retirement accounts. Left Lane led the $125 million Series A startup in Irvine, California, with a valuation of more than $1.3 billion in January.
Miller said that when Left Lane approached iTrustCapital, the startup’s founders hadn’t heard of them or Insight’s partners. He added, “It just shows you how vast and vast the world of entrepreneurship can be if you’re looking hard enough, and I think we’re very proud of that.”
Featured image provided by Left Lane Capital (from left to right: Harley Miller, Vinny Pujji, Dan Ahrens, Jason Fiedler)