Buying Rental Property Vs. Investing In A REIT, Part II

Debating which investment strategy you should adopt? Gary Beasley, CEO and Co-Founder of Roofstock, a Canvas portfolio company, focuses on what makes REITs an attractive option for prospective real estate investors. This is the second installment of Gary Beasley’s article on different real estate investment strategies.

What Tesla’s Semi Truck Says About the Future of Trucking

Drew McElroy, co-founder and CEO of Transfix, a Canvas portfolio company, wrote a guest article for Supply Chain Dive where he takes a close look at Tesla’s new electric semi truck. He begins by observing that though Tesla may not be the first to unveil an electric truck, Elon Musk’s “star power” has propelled the industry to consider the tech’s implications. A few examples of the topics McElroy covers are Tesla’s promise of significant advancements in safety features and a myriad of improvements for driver experience. He also examines Musk’s commitment to a network of “Megachargers” that will allow truckers to charge their semi’s while en route.

Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

The Canvas Team and our families came together to celebrate the holidays decked out in our favorite ugly sweaters. Never one to be outdone, Rebecca Lynn arrived in an ugly “onesy”. Rebecca was still edged out of the first prize in the “Ugliest Sweater Competition” by Ravina Harding who had a stuffed moose protruding from her abdomen. Congrats to the worthy champion.

Thanks for reading our first blog of this newly launched section of our Web site. Check back for slightly more serious topics when our team finds the time to blog.

Happy holidays, and cheers to an exhilarating 2018!

Canvas Ventures Raises $300M Fund to Invest in Software & Services Startups

Investors behind MuleSoft, Lending Club, Houzz, and Dropcam Continue to Focus on Early-Stage Tech Companies

Portola Valley, California. September 26, 2016 — Canvas Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, today announced that it has closed a new $300M fund called “Canvas Ventures 2.” The firm’s previous fund was capitalized at $175M in August 2013.

The four investing partners for the new fund are: Rebecca Lynn, Gary Little, Paul Hsiao, and Ben Narasin.

Gary Little appeared on the annual Forbes Midas List of top-100 venture investors in 2008 and 2009, and Rebecca Lynn appeared on the Forbes Midas List in 2015 and 2016. Rebecca was also named a “Top-20 VC” by the New York Times in March 2016.

The new fund will focus on:

  • Software & services startups
  • Primarily Series A & B rounds
  • Investment size of $5-20M per company over the life of the company; Canvas’s initial investment into a company could range from $250,000 to $10M
  • Startups in the US, with a concentration on Silicon Valley
  • Thesis areas: artificial intelligence, network marketplaces, fintech, digital health, and ‘new enterprise’.

Canvas Ventures 2 was closed in June 2016. The firm listed $250M as its target fundraising amount on their PPM (private placement memorandum). The fund was oversubscribed, closing at its hard cap of $300M.

Over the course of their venture-capital careers, which includes serving as partners at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Morgenthaler Ventures, the four partners made early-stage investments in Lending Club (largest US tech IPO of 2014), Dropcam (acquired by Google), TellApart (acquired by Twitter), Check (acquired by Intuit), Gaikai (acquired by Sony), MuleSoft, Houzz, Doximity, Evernote, Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk), Zenefits, Kabbage, and more.

Their publicly announced investments while serving as partners at Canvas Ventures include: FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock), CrowdFlower, Eden, Everwise, HealthLoop, Totango, Transfix, Viewics, and Zola.

When asked what differentiated their firm, the four Canvas partners said the following:

Gary Little: “Canvas is a team of passionate investors who have all been successful entrepreneurs or operators. Paul and Ben each founded startups and guided their companies through their respective M&A and IPO. Rebecca and I have run and scaled marketing and sales operations at pioneering tech companies. Each partner at our firm has had P&L responsibilities or started technology companies from scratch, and therefore has a high level of commitment and empathy for our startup founders.”

Rebecca Lynn: “We are focused, ‘thesis investors.’ That is, we find a theme or space that we think will produce outsize venture returns, become experts in that area, and invest in the startups that we think will dominate. We are not so rigid as to not look at investment opportunities outside of our thesis areas. Clearly some of the biggest technology disruptors in history didn’t neatly fit in an existing category; because they created that category. At Canvas, we believe thesis areas will cycle with technology and market shifts. Today, we concentrate on artificial intelligence, network marketplaces, fintech, digital health, and ‘new enterprise.’”

Paul Hsiao: “We are primarily Series A and B investors. And we go deep in our areas of focus. As a result, we are knowledgeable and can have in-depth conversations with our entrepreneurs about their strategic product roadmap, executive team building, and strong follow-on financing. We work together as a ‘Navy Seal’ team to help our entrepreneurs build transformational companies — scaling from $1M to $1B in revenue. We believe that progress happens when we bring together entrepreneurs, flagship customers, academic researchers, and investors who have the creativity to dream, drive to build, courage to try, and the influence to make positive change.”

Ben Narasin: “We invest more than capital. We invest time and attention. I was an entrepreneur for 25 years and suffered plenty of pain that I’d like to help founders avoid. I also learned a lot from starting a single-person company, then growing it and taking the company public. All the partners have successful track records of helping startups go from Series A to a valuable exit. And our startups tell us they value the boutique focus and community provided by Canvas. We regularly network our portfolio companies through annual CEO Dinners and intimate events for functional heads, and we like to roll up our sleeves and help companies with their marketing/PR, and make bespoke introductions to senior-tier players at major corporations.”

About Canvas Ventures

Named a “Top VC Firm to Watch” by the 2015 Forbes Midas List, Canvas is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. Canvas portfolio companies include: FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock), CrowdFlower, Eden, Everwise, HealthLoop, Totango, Transfix, Viewics, and Zola. The partners are also known for investments they made prior to Canvas, which include: Lending Club, MuleSoft, Houzz, Evernote, NexTag, Check, Doximity, Upwork, Zenefits, Dropcam, Kabbage, and more. Rebecca Lynn, Gary Little, Paul Hsiao, and Ben Narasin serve as the firm’s investing partners. Visit to learn more.

Press Contact:
Ching Wu, Partner of Marketing & IR