HomeInterviewsMyriad Venture Partners, Interview With Founder Chris Fisher

Myriad Venture Partners, Interview With Founder Chris Fisher

Myriad Venture Partners’ Founder Chris Fisher

Myriad Venture Partners, a NYC-based newly formed tech venture capital firm, has just launched with 100m in initial commitments. In conjunction with the launch, Chris Fisher, the founder and managing partner, replied to our questions about Myriad, their strategy and targets, and shared with us some thoughts about the tech landscape.

VCWire: Hi Chris, can you please tell us a bit more about you? What’s your background?

I am Chris Fisher, the founder and managing partner of Myriad Venture Partners. Prior to Myriad, I served as the senior vice president and Chief Strategy Officer at Xerox Corporation, including Global M&A and Ventures. My journey into venture capital began when I founded Xerox Ventures and successfully led various direct investments. Before Xerox, I spent about seven years each in banking and big law.

VCWire: Can you introduce your firm?

Myriad Venture Partners is an early-stage venture fund focused on AI, clean technology and B2B software. We invest in transformational founders and companies building the next generation of business solutions. As businesses face profound challenges in how and where they operate with expectations to leverage the latest technology for a seamless employee and customer experience, we are funding next-gen industry leaders while creating new commercial and technology partnership opportunities for top-tier companies. Leveraging the successful playbook we built as the founders of Xerox Ventures Fund I (XVFI), my team and I bring decades of expertise across strategy, operations, and investing and a robust corporate partnership network to innovation ecosystems, supporting world-class entrepreneurs shaping the future of intelligent, sustainable businesses.

VCWire: Which is your overall strategy?

We specialize in early-stage ventures, primarily seed and A rounds. If possible, we actively seek to increase our investment in successful ventures, taking a leading role in the Series Seed and A rounds. Our robust Venture Network, cultivated over the past three years, leverages our extensive experience from Xerox Ventures, creating a comprehensive ecosystem with corporate partners like Xerox and HCLTech and traditional institutional venture capitalists.
This ecosystem provides a unique advantage, forming a rich network of early-stage startups and founders. We not only gain access to promising ventures but also facilitate introductions to our corporate partners, LP base, and co-investor network, establishing invaluable relationships with top-notch founders and companies. Myriad’s investing strategy solves for the “innovator’s dilemma,” meaning mature businesses must innovate or get disrupted by innovative startups, and Myriad extends the lifespan of today’s big industries by creating partnership opportunities with the big ideas and industries of tomorrow. The firm focuses on building long-term partnerships with the most groundbreaking startups, creating a runway for them to grow into leaders in their markets. Our initial fund, backed by anchor investor Xerox, aims to secure $200 million.
To date, we have raised $100M.

Myriad leverages its network of corporate titans and top-tier venture capitalists to create a mutually beneficial cycle of value and access that yields real returns for strategic and financial partners during tight finances and its portfolio companies during a critical point in development.
Headquartered in New York, we maintain a broad geographic focus. We are particularly interested in AI, clean technology and B2B software – sectors driving innovation and positive societal impact.

VCWire: Beyond capital, how do you support startups?

Myriad is raising a multi-LP (limited partner) venture capital fund with Xerox Corporation as an anchor investor and other established corporate and financial LPs. We go beyond traditional funding by providing strategic guidance and leveraging our network of corporate partners to foster collaborations and market access. Our Advisory Council, featuring partners like Xerox and HCLTech, serves as a proving ground, fostering the development of new business models and go-to-market strategies while offering a significant advantage to Myriad, co-investors and portfolio companies seeking market validation.

VCWire: What do you like to see in founders?….And what don’t you like to see in them? I mean, is there something which impresses you at a first glance?

I am impressed by founders who demonstrate a clear vision, resilience and a deep understanding of their industry. Strong leadership, ability to rally teams and create a following, adaptability and a commitment to long-term impact are key. Also, a history of founding start-ups and successful exits is always great to see but not required (we all have to start somewhere).

VCWire: Please, tell us a bit more about the portfolio. You can list five startups whose paths have made you particularly proud of.

We are grateful for the partnerships we have formed with our founders, and while it’s hard to name only a few, as all are exceptional, a handful that have made us exceptionally proud are:

a. LinkSquares – Myriad has invested in LinkSquares’ B and C rounds, positioning the company as a leader in the $2.5-3.5 billion ARR middle-market Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) space. Vishal (CEO and Co-Founder) and the team have propelled LinkSquares to be a leader in the CLM space, driven by an AI-first approach, and exceed set milestones and targets, securing a strategic partnership with Xerox to deliver CLM capabilities.

b. Anvilogic – We invested in Anvilogic because we saw in their innovative “SIEM- less SOC architecture” approach as a bridge to legacy enterprises disrupting the monolithic, expensive, legacy SIEM approach by allowing data to remain where it is born, across multiple data lakes, and providing SOC teams AI-driven automation.

c. Seurat – Our initial investment in Seurat in series B was made with the strong conviction that Seurat’s area printing approach was the right approach towards bringing the promises of additive manufacturing to mass manufacturing, which includes the decarbonization of a hard-to-abate segment. Our thesis in the advanced manufacturing space has played out as Seurat recently raised a $99M Series C amid a challenging funding environment for industrial and additive technologies and a retraction in late-stage venture funding.

d. Vartana – Myriad was the sole strategic investor in Vartana as we recognized early on that closing sales with customized deal terms or complex pricing remains difficult for many B2B companies. Vartana aims to remove much of the friction slowing innovation and real-time customer responsiveness at legacy enterprises. We embrace their vision of helping companies reduce costs through automation, consolidation and modern software.

VCWire: Regrets? Do you have a personal anti-portfolio?

I prefer to focus on the many current and future founders we are, or are going, to partner with, rather than spend time and energy on any of the “ones that go away”.
There are plenty of incredibly impressive founders building world-changing companies that, for one reason or another, we had to pass on. Sometimes there isn’t a good fund- founder fit. But we pride ourselves in doing what we can to add value to startups whether or not we invest. We’ve made hundreds of introductions to strategic partners for the founders we meet and have only invested in a handful.  Founders should know they can benefit from a conversation with us whether or not that initial connection leads to an investment.

VCWire: Which sector/s would you bet 2 cents in the next five years?

I believe clean technology will see significant growth and innovation in the next five years. Equity investment in startups declined 50.2% in 2023 despite growing demand, momentum and urgency for climate tech. This decline underscores the critical importance of funding to scale solutions in the face of the climate crisis. Additionally, the intersection of AI and clean tech presents exciting opportunities for sustainable solutions, and we’re eager to invest in companies driving positive change in both these
spaces. This commitment to investing in impact-driven solutions in the next big industries is ingrained in Myriad’s investment strategy, driven by the team’s previous success at Xerox Ventures. A clear example of this success is seen in companies like clean manufacturing technology provider Seurat Technologies, which garnered substantial follow-on funding from industry titans Nvidia and Honda.

VCWire

23/01/2024