Bloomberg Beta has raised its second $75 million fund to be dedicated – like its predecessor – to seed funding for start-ups.
The two funds will not have identical interests, however – the new fund is geared more toward machine learning start-ups, which is a relatively new area of interest for the firm. Thematically, the new fund is dedicated to “the future of work.”
“The idea was, take the Bloomberg ideas and apply them to a VC fund,” partner Roy Bahat said. “Have a very customer service-centric focus, build trust by being as transparent as possible, that was always the intent. The logic was, how do you describe the full range of issues Bloomberg touches. It’s basically how business is done across the board.”
Since launching, Bloomberg Beta has done over 60 deals – and in the year an increasing share of those deals have been in machine learning and “bot-based” companies. Bloomberg Beta’s fund invested in Howdy’s $1.5 million seed round – Howdy went on to be one of the Slack fund’s first investments.
According to Bahat, machine learning will increasingly be the underpinning for a variety of firms – which means it is a natural target for increased focus from the fund as many nascent efforts are attempting to get off the ground. Moreover – Bahat notes, with its more founder-focused strategy, it makes a better partner for emerging entrepreneurs.
“The nice thing is, we have an unusually patient L.P.,” Bahat said. “Unlike standard deals, we don’t have a specific time frame by which we need, we’re prepared to be as long term as is necessary. [Bloomberg is an] L.P. who cares a lot about the underlying technology, and this is more than just a way to allocate capital.”