Oct 6, 2017

The return of Xfund

Last year, the co-founders of venture capital firm Xfund were in the midst of a skirmish that had included "employee firings, name-calling, bank account freezes and even a restraining order request." It really appeared that the only question was if Xfund wanted to be buried or cremated.

But xFund is back, after Patrick Chung and Hugo Van Vuuren privately settled their legal differences. Chung has remained with Xfund, which quietly secured some new LP commitments and has added a new partner. Van Vuuren has moved on, with a source saying that he's mostly traveling and advising enterprise venture fund Work-Bench.

What it is: Xfund focuses on seed-stage investments in startups based on research done at universities like Stanford and Harvard (albeit without formal school affiliations).

Fund details: Xfund 2 originally raised $100 million, but later got slashed in half. Chung says it's now a bit over $70 million, thanks in part to a new commitment from UK-based Future Planet Capital. Same investment period, which expires at the end of 2019.

Partner details: The new addition is Brandon Farwell, who first met Chung while the former was with DFJ and the latter with NEA. Farwell's most recent stop with with the much-maligned Rothenberg Ventures (no, he and Mike still aren't on speaking terms), but says his long history with Chung got him comfortable entering another situation that has major hair on its history. The pair also say they are equal partners, something that became the crux of the dispute between Chung and Van Vuuren. Chung adds that there could be a third partner added, as Xfund is seeking someone on the ground at Harvard (where Van Vuuren used to roam), although that position also could become more scout-like.

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