Zetta Venture Partners, a B2B, AI-focused venture outfit, announced a new $180 million fund. As new VC funds are anecdotally a bit thinner on the ground these days -- and because we're in the midst of economic upheaval, which is changing investing patterns and shaking up startup verticals -- I got on the phone with Zetta's Jocelyn Goldfein (a TechCrunch regular) to chat about what her firm is doing and what's up with AI investing. Zetta's new fund is about 50% larger than its preceding capital pool, which was roughly double its first fund. If you don't want to do the math, Zetta's first fund was worth $60 million, and its second $125 million. Zetta will invest in B2B-focused, AI-powered seed-stage startups like it has before, but with more capital.
The startup investing market is crowded, expensive and rapid-fire today as venture capitalists work to preempt one another, hoping to deploy funds into hot companies before their competitors. The AI startup market may be even hotter than the average technology niche. In the wake of the Microsoft-Nuance deal, The Exchange reported that it would be reasonable to anticipate an even more active and competitive market for AI-powered startups. Our thesis was that after Redmond dropped nearly $20 billion for the AI company, investors would have a fresh incentive to invest in upstarts with an AI focus or strong AI component; exits, especially large transactions, have a way of spurring investor interest in related companies. That expectation is coming true.
Partners Niko Bonatsos and Kyle Doherty will meet with underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs to provide key feedback and advice. Founded in 2014, TechCrunch launched the Include Program in an effort to leverage the extensive TechCrunch network to facilitate opportunities for underserved groups and founders. The Include Office Hours Program is one such initiative. TechCrunch collaborates with investors to host private 20-minute sessions with startups, where founders can ask for guidance on critical business issues. During September's Include Office Hours, General Catalyst will be meeting with 12 lucky companies.
Somewhere in the spare room of a home in the US or overseas, a recent high school grad and soon to be member of the Class of 2022 at a school like Stanford or Georgia Tech is gathering up the clothes, gadgets, and dorm room basics that they will need for freshman year. Four years after that traumatic (for the parents) drop-off day, that skinny but brilliant freshman will graduate and join a six-person start-up company, where he or she will play an integral part in building the game-changing technology that you and your organization will use just a few years later. Some of the companies and technologies that will be in the must-have category are pulling in venture capital investments today. This is the first in an occasional series of roundups of just a few of the noteworthy startup reporting investments. We have reviewed dozens of June press releases and posts on TechCrunch to get a sense of what already is coming down the road.
In a world where the enterprise market hovers around $500 billion in annual sales, is it any wonder that hundreds of enterprise startups launch into that fiercely competitive arena every year? It's a thrilling, roller-coaster ride that's seen it all: serious success, wild wealth and rapid failure. That's why we're excited to host our inaugural TC Sessions Enterprise 2019 event on September 5 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Like TechCrunch's other TC Sessions, this day-long intensive goes deep on one specific topic. Early-bird tickets are on sale now for $395 -- and we have special pricing for MBA students and groups, too.