Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Flexport founder Ryan Petersen has joined enterprise capital agency Founders Fund as a accomplice, as reported by Forbes earlier in the present day.

Founders Fund confirmed the transfer to TechCrunch, offering the next assertion from Common Associate Trae Stephens: “We’ve all the time struggled to outline the quintessential Founders Fund founder. Clearly, it’s Ryan. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the crew.”

Petersen — who stepped down as CEO of Flexport final August — himself acknowledged the transfer on Twitter, with a tweet saying:

I’ve joined Founders Fund. If you’re somebody who’s out to get revenge after having been wronged by a earlier employer or investor, a French technical founder who fled socialism to construct your organization in America, or a Christ-like determine of any variety, please get in contact.

Petersen additionally instructed TechCrunch by way of e mail: “I by no means considered changing into a VC. After I moved to the chairman function a dozen or so VC corporations reached out to me, however I didn’t entertain any of them apart from Founders Fund. They’re tremendous aligned with me each in my want to proceed to help Flexport with as a lot of my vitality as I can and with their general philosophy of backing founders all the best way. The crew right here modified the course of VC historical past by upending the earlier mannequin the place VCs would search to interchange the founder with a extra seasoned CEO. Founders Fund doesn’t get sufficient credit score for his or her function in altering the tradition of the broader VC world. I’m excited to work with our portfolio founders, each new and present, to assist them construct and run generational corporations.”

Petersen based Flexport, a logistics startup that raised $2.4 billion in funding since its 2013 inception, based on Crunchbase. Founders Fund was an early investor within the firm, which final raised in February of 2022 — a $935 million Collection E co-led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and MSD Companions that valued the corporate at $8 billion. Founders Fund participated in that spherical as effectively.

The brand new function gained’t be an enormous leap for Petersen contemplating that through the years, he has backed as an angel investor over 100 startups, comparable to Rippling, Mercury, Faire, Eight Sleep, Carta and Pulley. He will likely be primarily based in San Francisco and make investments as a “generalist” for Founders Fund.   

He wrote by way of e mail: “I’m involved in modern corporations no matter their stage or trade.”

Petersen and his brother, David, got here up with the concept for Flexport in 2008 once they had been working ImportGenius.com. Petersen then went by way of Y Combinator within the Winter 2013 batch. He transitioned into the function of govt chairman on March 1.

Over time, Flexport was hailed for with the ability to develop so efficiently regardless of working in a decidedly unsexy trade. TechCrunch former reporter Josh Constine wrote this characteristic about how Petersen and the corporate had been stepping up within the battle in opposition to COVID. Utilizing freight software program it constructed, the full-service air, rail truck and ocean freight forwarder doubled income to $3.3 billion in 2021, transferring nearly $19 billion in gross merchandise by way of its platform. And Petersen instructed the American Journal of Transportation in March that Flexport’s estimated 2022 income was $5 billion. 

Final month, TechCrunch reported on Kaitlyn Glancy, who had spent greater than eight years with Flexport — the final 4 of them because the outfit’s vp of North America — saying that she had joined the world of VC as the latest accomplice on the enterprise agency Eclipse.

Apparently, Founders Fund additionally final September reported that fintech startup Brex’s former chief income officer, Sam Blond, was changing into a accomplice at Founders Fund.

Reporter’s word: This story was up to date post-publication to incorporate feedback from Petersen and revised figures of the variety of corporations he has invested in.

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