When it was established, Xfund was a partnership between multiple top venture capital firms and was anchored at the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The fund initially made seed-stage investments in startups emerging from both Harvard, MIT, and other top universities. From its start, Xfund has had a Silicon Valley office where it continued to cultivate close ties to Stanford University.
The Xfund approach to investing views technical talent as necessary but not sufficient for building strong companies. The teams backed by Xfund include entrepreneurs with multidisciplinary talents who can take innovative risks in their respective markets. The firm’s investors do not adhere to traditional sector and industry lines. Instead, Xfund looks at the growth mindset driving the team and the leadership’s potential for disruption.
Once startups become part of the Xfund portfolio, they are connected to a wide range of advisors, including university faculty and industry experts. Startups also gain access to an extensive network of investors who can help them achieve their growth goals. Xfund provides a full spectrum of support, from finding Nobel laureates to serving on a board to helping a founder tackle challenging operational issues.
Xfund values lateral thinkers with ideas that go beyond typical industry lines. To that end, the firm has invested in startups doing groundbreaking work—for example, a company sequencing people’s DNA to derive new medical insight (23andMe). Another Xfund startup, Philo, is seeing ways of making an everyday activity, watching television, more social. Other companies in the firm’s portfolio include Guideline, Nebula Genomics, NewtonX, and Kea, among others. More information about the fund and its investments is available online at www.xfund.com.