SUNNYVALE, CA - May 12, 2021 - Plug and Play is excited to announce that they have closed their first industry-specific fund focused on investments in commerce. Through the Future Commerce Fund, Plug and Play will further support the growth of their early-stage portfolio companies and invest in Series A to Series C startups that are achieving great commercial traction through their accelerator programs and 500+ corporate partner network. The Future Commerce Fund is exclusive to Plug and Play’s corporate partner network and is supported by PVH Corp., The TJX Companies, Inc., other Plug and Play corporations, and top commerce executives.
“The Future Commerce Fund looks to replicate the success of our platform model in the context of a venture fund where the investors are our retail members,” commented Michael Olmstead, Partner and Chief Revenue Officer of Plug and Play and Managing Partner of the Future Commerce Fund. “We have grown a pipeline of incredible companies from the family office and now are cherry picking the best ones for our partners who may not otherwise be able to invest in these deals.”
“We've watched the use of technology accelerate in the retail industry during the pandemic. You're no longer only in brick-and-mortar stores, consumers want a seamless experience from anywhere and anytime. I see this concept continuing even further, and technology is the only way to get it done," says Mike Shaffer, EVP, COO, and CFO of PVH Corp. "The key for us when joining this fund was the ability to see what technology is out there alongside multiple partners that represented a large piece of the retail sector. With Plug and Play and their global partner network, we found someone who was very good at what they do and had a track record of delivering success."
Plug and Play is one of the most active early stage investors, doing over 200 investments per year. The Future Commerce Fund is built from Plug and Play’s first vertical--Brand & Retail. Investment focus areas will closely follow those of the Brand & Retail program. The current themes are digital, e-commerce, and the consumer’s path to purchase.
Plug and Play typically invests $50K-250K in Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A startups. Now, with the launch of the Future Commerce Fund, Plug and Play and their limited partners will be able to continue to support Plug and Play’s portfolio companies and program startups who are raising Series A to Series C financing. Notable investments through their Brand & Retail program include Honey (acquired by PayPal for $4 billion), Kustomer (acquired by Facebook for $1 billion), and Rappi (raised $1.7 billion). Over the next three years, Plug and Play plans to make roughly 20 investments through this fund.
Many of the fund’s investors, known as limited partners, are Plug and Play’s corporate members that are deepening their relationships with some of the best startups transforming commerce. The founders of some of Plug and Play’s most successful portfolio companies are also limited partners in the fund. Plug and Play is contributing 10% of the fund’s capital.
“We are excited to be able to scale with the companies we have invested in,” said George Damouny, Partner at Plug and Play Ventures. “This will both help deepen our relationship with our retail corporate members and invest bigger check sizes in later stage companies.”
Forward-thinking corporations looking to pilot with and invest in startups and startups looking for funding should apply to be a part of Plug and Play’s global network of over 500 partners and 30,000 startups: https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/join/
About Plug and Play
Plug and Play is the leading innovation platform, connecting startups, corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we're present in 35+ locations across five continents. We offer corporate innovation programs and help our corporate partners in every stage of their innovation journey, from education to execution. We also organize startup acceleration programs and have built an in-house VC to drive innovation across multiple industries where we've invested in hundreds of successful companies including Dropbox, Guardant Health, Honey, Lending Club, N26, PayPal, and Rappi. For more information, visit https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/