What is the best-performing venture capital fund in the world? If you judge by the amount of media attention and name recognition a firm receives, then 3Si Micro Venture & Holdings, (3Si), would never appear on your list.
Try doing a Financial Times online search of top VC firms Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital or Andreessen Horowitz, and you'll find an average of 300+ article mentions apiece. If you do the same search for 3Si, the total number of online article mentions across both searches is…0.
My response to that is simple: building a massive marketing machine just isn’t in our DNA or aligned with the type of firm we’re seeking to build. We are intensely focused on our investments and driving results.
3Si's Company Profile
We invest in breakthrough innovations within early-stage ventures that can disrupt markets.
We build our portfolio based on compelling people, transformative ideas, significant intellectual property, deep market understanding, and the opportunity for capital efficiency and leverage.
We are comprised exclusively of startup specialists who have operated in many roles spanning the breadth of a variety of industries.
From basic research to market expertise, running small companies to large multinational businesses, the diverse experience of our team brings a comprehensive perspective to every issue we solve.
Why We Started 3Si
We started 3Si because the venture capital industry has grown too large to serve the needs of early stage entrepreneurs. We plan to change this paradigm by showing that being more selective and by working with fewer entrepreneurs, we can produce better outcomes.
At 3Si, we have redesigned venture with the Founder as our customer.
Everything we do is focused on enabling our Founders to realize their dreams.
3Si's Guiding Philosophy
3Si supports innovative entrepreneurs who are obsessed with building great companies that stand the test of time. We recognize that this is no easy task.
As investors, our goal is to become an extension of the team and use our resources and experiences to help companies jump to the next level. We are not just a source of capital– we are long-term strategic partners and active investors.
Who We Work With
Our firm has excelled in the ability to recognize and capitalize on key dynamics which lead to a startup venture's success. Though, as mentioned previously, we are selective in the entrepreneurs we work with, we take a broad approach to the industries in which the entrepreneurs come from.
Specifically, we work with startups in the following sectors:
However, we do have four sectors that are our favorites for the reasons listed below:
Technology: We invest in companies that take advantage of the disruption caused by computing infrastructure and business model shifts, such as mobile, cloud and enterprise SaaS.
Financial Services: Our history allows us to be prudent investors in financial services sectors like trading, payments, and structured finance businesses.
Education: Education is in need of an overhaul. We believe in investing in post-secondary education startups in order to change the lives of thousands of students.
Healthcare Technology: The innovation driven by the Affordable Care Act makes healthcare ripe for disruption. We are actively investing in solutions that take advantage of new regulations to improve quality of care.
3Si currently utilizes a $70 million venture fund focused on early-growth stage investment opportunities. Leveraging the operating experience and investment background of 3Si's Partners.
Our normal investment size is between $50,000 to $2 million and we are almost always the first investor in a company. Our deals are simple and clean, with a large amount of our funds reserved for each company.
This means that while our initial check sizes are small, we can still be a powerful financial partner for a growing and successful company.
We have several investment vehicles in order to provide early-stage startups with access to capital. Our goal is simply to provide access to capital to entrepreneurs who are pushing the envelope with disruptive innovations. An overview of the four investment vehicles we utilize are as follows:
Venture Debt: Venture debt, venture lending or venture leasing is a type of debt financing provided to companies to fund working capital or capital expenses, such as purchasing equipment. Unlike traditional bank lending, venture debt is available to startups and growth companies that do not have positive cash flow or significant assets to use as collateral. Venture debt providers combine their loans with warrants or rights to purchase equity, to compensate for the higher risk of default.
Convertible Notes: A convertible note is an investment vehicle often used by seed investors investing in startups who wish to delay establishing a valuation for that startup until a later round of funding or milestone. Convertible notes are structured as loans with the intention of converting to equity.
Lines of Credit (LOC): A LOC is an arrangement between our funders and your startup that establishes a maximum loan balance that our funders will permit the startup to maintain. Your startup can draw down on the line of credit at any time, as long the company does not exceed the maximum set in the agreement set forth by our funders. The advantage of a line of credit over a regular loan is that interest is not usually charged on the part of the line of credit that is unused, and your startup can draw on the line of credit at any time that the company needs to.
Equity Financing: Equity financing is the method of raising capital by selling company stock to investors. In return for the investment, the shareholders receive ownership interests in the company.
Why Work With 3Si?
Of course there are many venture capital firms competing with us to find the next unicorn. For the startup venture that is bound to have success, the options are abundant. However, here are the highlights that 3Si brings to the table.
We invest early
We are fearless, yet educated in who we work with
More than 30 years of combined experience
We make investments in several industries
We focus on serving our customer; the Founder(s)
How To Begin The Relationship with 3Si
If you’re a serious entrepreneur, you’ve undoubtedly already learned that the best way to reach out to a venture capitalist is through pre-existing relationships.
Investing in early-stage startups is really about investing in people, so having someone we trust (such as entrepreneurs we’ve previously backed, service providers we work with, or other people in our community) vouch for you is immensely helpful.
That said, we recognize that not all networks will intersect, so if your universe doesn’t currently overlap with ours, don’t let that deter you. You can send an email directly to any of us with an executive summary or description of your business/ideas along with how you think we can help.
Before reaching out to us, we strongly encourage you to look at our investment criteria to make sure your opportunity is one that is relevant to 3Si's capabilities and interest.
Our approach and focus is to help us continue on our journey to be one of the top-performing venture funds. Though we care immensely about our portfolio companies' success, and our own for that matter, don’t expect to read a lot of articles about us along the way.
Should you want to contact 3Si for any reason, kindly shoot us an email at Contact@3SiHoldings.com. We'd be glad to hear from you.