Seed venture capital and operational expertise for entrepreneurs building the Bottom Up Economy.
What's the Bottom Up Economy? Enabling small businesses and individual consumers and developers to more easily and cost effectively access technology, information and customers so that they can create, transact, communicate and grow.
Great companies are built by mission-driven teams.
That’s what we look for when making an investment. We prefer to be significant investors in a small number of seed rounds each year, demonstrating our commitment to your team upfront and ongoing. These early days are also about more than just establishing product-market fit and building momentum for your next funding round. They‘re when you start making decisions about what you want to be - your business, your culture, your values - and begin putting those into practice.
That’s why an investment from Homebrew is about more than just our capital. We bring to bear our operational expertise, a focused group of hands-on entrepreneur advisors and a large, supportive community. We commit the time to help you move faster and scale bigger - whether it’s identifying and recruit top talent, getting on a whiteboard to collaboratively solve what’s bugging you, or connecting you with a subject matter expert for the 30 minute conversation that saves two weeks of swirl. We also offer office space in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco for your small team to work alongside us and other Homebrew companies.
Our focus is on startups supporting the Bottom Up Economy - helping businesses, developers and individuals drive economic growth and innovation through simpler, cheaper and more direct access to technology, information and customers.
Prior to Homebrew, I was VP Product at Twitter, building and leading the Product Management and User Services teams. Before Twitter, I was a Partner at Battery Ventures, where I co-led the seed and early stage investing practices. I joined Google in 2003 and was responsible for AdSense product management and partnerships. Before heading to Silicon Valley for Google, I worked for DoubleClick, in venture capital and as a strategy consultant. My education is memorialized by a BS in Finance and a BS in Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania.
Before Homebrew, I led consumer product management at YouTube, starting when it was acquired by Google. I originally joined Google in 2003, managing product and sales efforts for AdSense, Google‘s contextual advertising business. My first job in Silicon Valley was as the founding product and marketing guy at Linden Lab. Before graduate school, I was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O‘ Brien. My parents are proud of my BA in History from Vassar and MBA from Stanford University.
Kristen OstroDirector of Operations
Pre-Homebrew, I was an Executive Assistant and Marketing Coordinator for New Enterprise Associates. Prior to NEA, I worked in a jack-of-all-trades role for a licensed broker-dealer in San Francisco, and supported the Executive Director of Baker & McKenzie, LLP. Craigslist got me my first job at Tower Records headquarters in Sacramento, CA, where I supported the CFO and his staff. My mom takes credit for landing me a Division 1 volleyball scholarship at Towson University but not for the two torn ACLs and BS in Business Administration I got there.
Homebrew Entrepreneur Advisors are formally affiliated with the fund and work closely with our partner companies, providing guidance and expertise in the areas where they each have a “superpower”.
Mark Ayzenshtat VP Augmented Intelligence, Evernote
Scott Belsky Founder & CEO, Behance
Leah Busque Founder & CEO, TaskRabbit
Tracy ChouTech Lead, Pinterest
Jen Grant CMO, ElasticSearch
Ryan Graves Head of Global Operations, Uber
Andy Johns Director of Growth, Wealthfront
Jeff Lawson CEO, Twilio
Lee Linden Founder, Karma
Sasha Lubomirsky User Experience, AirBnB
Cory Ondrejka VP Mobile Engineering, Facebook
Rama Ranganath Sr. Director Engineering, Optimizely
Kim Scott Advisor, Dropbox, Square and Twitter
Roy SehgalFormer VP & GM, Zynga
Homebrew makes small, supporting investments in companies founded by teams well-known to us but operating in sectors, stages or financial structures that are not a fit with our focus on seed stage companies building within the Bottom Up Economy.
Select Prior Investments
The companies below represent investments made by the Homebrew team, either in a professional or angel investing capacity, prior to the formation of Homebrew.
- Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV)
- BlueKai (acquired by Oracle)
- FreeWheel (acquired by Comcast)
- Karma (acquired by Facebook)
Homebrew was created to be the type of venture capital firm that we would have wanted to work with in our entrepreneurial endeavors.
Accordingly, we don’t subscribe to “business as usual” or “this is how things have always been done.” Homebrew is our startup (we just happen to be writing checks as opposed to code!) so we own every approach and action we take.
That’s it. If we answer “yes” frequently enough, we’re certain we’ll also meet our other goals - generating substantial returns for our investors, creating economic opportunity for individuals, supporting amazing new ideas and technologies and establishing Homebrew as the partner of choice for entrepreneurs. We’d be honored to work with you in helping turn your vision into reality.
So where does “Homebrew” come from? We have a profound appreciation for the people and innovation that have come before us. We recognize everyday that we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. Our name is a nod of respect to the Homebrew Computer Club of the 1970s that helped spawn Apple, Computer Associates and many other companies. We also wanted a name that brings to mind handcrafted, artisan, small batch and community-made and enjoyed, because that’s the approach we’re taking to investing and working with our partner companies. It’s coincidence (but appropriate since we’re nerds) that Homebrew is the name of a Mac OS X package installer that many of our friends love. And finally, our name gives Hunter a chance to use terrible puns such as “this round’s on us” and yes, Satya an excuse to schedule frequent happy hours.