Everyone more or less agrees that 2023 is going to be effectively written off in VC-land, as the feeding frenzy of the last few years leaves everyone exhausted, valuations flattened or crashed, and exit market remain more or less closed.
VCs appear to be using this period to get their house in order for the next cycle. We’ve already witnessed General Catalyst using this down-time to scoop up a Seed arm in Europe; another Euro VC spend ‘quality time’ with their LPs to raise another fund; and former bystanders, use it to jump on the AI hype cycle.
Why not use it to expand your partnership, right?
To that end, Hoxton Ventures has now managed to lure former Bryan Gartner, Partner at Khosla Ventures, to join as Partner.
Gartner formerly worked on venture growth-stage investments at the VC, but he’ll be refreshing his memory of early-stage investing now he’s at Hoxton.
Over an interviewed, he admitted it’d also a career move based on his personal life: “I have a very international family. My wife is actually British, so [moving] was always on the cards…but we weren’t thinking this quickly. When I was introduced to Hussein through one of the Hoxton portfolio companies, I noticed immediately the transparent nature and the mutual respect among the partnership. A complete lack of ego in the room which you know, frankly, is a breath of fresh air. And it felt to me that there’s an inflection point that Hoxton is about to hit, and I’m thrilled to be to be part of that story.”
About his time at Khosla, he told me: “There’s there’s a dichotomy between the firm’s that truly work deeply with their portfolio companies and those that don’t… It’s not really about the board meeting. It’s about the calls you make, the meetings leading up to the board meeting. And I’ve always really enjoyed that. I’ve got a bunch of stories in my track record that weren’t obvious wins and then became 9, 10, 11x returns, because of really rolling up sleeves and plugging in and that’s what excites me in this industry. And that’s what I saw at Hoxton.”
Hoxton’s early stage credentials in Europe include a 60-strong portfolio which includes a number of successful companies including Darkrace, Deliveroo, Preply, Spacelift, and TourRadar, as well newer investments such as Avantia, Lumi, and XYZ Reality.
Hussein Kanji, partner, Hoxton Ventures said in a statement: “Bryan is an experienced investor, having seen companies go from their early formation to exit and IPO. His late stage skill set will provide us with a new strength around the table.”
He added over a call: “We’ve been intentionally thinking about expanding and building up the partnership. We started alongside Seedcamp, Connect Ventures, and a bunch of others pioneering investing in Europe, and I think we’ve gone into a really good ‘boutique mode’. But I think we’re trying to make another transition now.”
He said Hoxton is growign: “We’ve become much more of a firm and an institution, kind of in the same journey as Index Ventures in the 90s went from a small shop and became the powerhouse that it is today. And if you’re going to do that, you’ve got to hire really great people. So Brian is part of that. And we’re probably going to try and do this one or two more times.”
In March 2022, Hoxton Ventures closed a $215 million new fund, Hoxton III.
Gartner has 16 years of experience in venture capital. He was a Vice President at Insight Venture Partners, where he invested in companies that include AdColony, which was acquired by Opera for $350 million, Alteryx (IPO’d), Fenergo (acquired by Astorg and Bridgepoint for $600M), Pluralsight (acquired by Vista for $3.5B), Smartsheet (IPO’d), and Udemy (IPO’).
After Insight Venture Partners, he joined join Apax, where he invested in Wizeline, which was acquired by CDPQ for ~$450M. He was also a Partner role at Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners. He was previously a Partner at Khosla Ventures for two years.
Hoxton’s investments include Finesse, Giraffe360, Inflow, Really Clever, Peptone, Universal Quantum and XYZ Reality.