Big Fish, Little Fish: When One Portfolio Company Acquires Another

May 20, 2018

One of the most important aspects of our investment strategy at Homebrew is that we want to put sweat and reputation behind a team, not just capital. Getting up each morning knowing that we get to support founders who are intentional and ambitious in building a company they are proud of beyond the financial outcome. So when two of these companies join forces, there’s a thrill in the combinatorial effect of seeing quality people work together towards a bigger outcome.

Last month Cruise acquired the founding team of, a previously unannounced startup also working in the autonomous transportation industry. Homebrew had been fortunate enough to be among Cruise’s seed investors, which provided us early exposure to the transformation occurring in transportation and logistics driven by autonomy. It also helped us arrive at the point of view that the talent in this industry was still concentrated in a relatively small group of technologists worldwide and when you had the chance to back one of these teams, you should do it. That led us to make a similar seed investment in Gabe Sibley and his company, Zippy. Although we made that commitment hoping we’d be in business with Gabe for a long while to come, sometimes there’s a combination which just makes sense, and we know the Zippy team will make a substantial impact at Cruise.

This marks the first time a prior portfolio company acquired a current portfolio company. We know that’s a lower level venture badge than “portfolio company IPOs” but as a five year old fund, it’s wonderful to see people we’ve backed spread across their respective industries.

Oh, and if you want to take a more “traditional” path to Cruise, they’re hiring.