Uber investor Benchmark is raising latest $425 million venture fund without two key partners

Key Points
  • Mitch Lasky led the firm's investment in Snap, and announced in July that he's leaving the social media company's board.
  • Matt Cohler was an early employee at LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Benchmark was an early investor in Uber, Snap and Stitch Fix.
Martin Ollman | Getty Images

Benchmark, the venture firm that bet early on Uber, Snap, Stitch Fix and numerous software companies that have gone public of late, is raising its latest fund without two of its key partners.

According to an SEC filing on Monday, Benchmark's ninth fund won't include Mitch Lasky, who led the firm's investment in Snap, or Matt Cohler, who was an early employee at both LinkedIn and Facebook before turning to venture capital.

Benchmark has a unique spot in the venture world. As Silicon Valley's historic firms have gotten bigger and raised different types of funds to go after early-stage and later-stage investments, Benchmark has stayed small, taking big stakes in young start-ups and riding them through to the public markets or until they get acquired. The firm was at the center of the drama last year surrounding Uber ex-CEO Travis Kalanick and was instrumental in having him ultimately removed from the company.

The latest fund includes Eric Vishria, who joined Benchmark in 2014, as well as Sarah Tavel, who came to the firm from Greylock Partners last year, and Chetan Puttagunta, who Benchmark hired from NEA in July. They join Bill Gurley and Peter Fenton, partners since 1999 and 2006, respectively.

Lasky's departure isn't surprising. He announced in July that he was leaving the Snap board. The social media company has struggled since going public last year, as losses mount and Facebook continues to mimic its key features. Lasky joined Benchmark in 2007 from Electronic Arts.

Cohler's decision to leave comes at a time when he's spending more time away from Silicon Valley to be with his wife, who's from Norway. Cohler and Lasky will continue to serve on boards and be affiliated with the firm, just not as general partners. Cohler joined the board of Uber last year, taking Gurley's position.

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