Early-stage startups working on artificial intelligence, clean technology and B2B software now have another chunk of capital to go after.
After working together at Xerox Corp.’s corporate venture capital firm Xerox Ventures, Chris Fisher, Tim Chiang and Dean Mai form Myriad Venture Partners.
They secured $100 million in capital commitments for their first fund, which targets $200 million in total, Fisher told TechCrunch. Fisher is the former senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Xerox and former founder and managing partner of Xerox Ventures, a firm started in 2021.
“We’ve had eclectic careers, which is partially probably where our name came from, as well as from Myriad's synergistic ecosystem,” Fisher said. “The three of us have complementary skills across a lot of different areas between operations strategy and venture investment, among others.”
Myriad’s Fund I currently backs 14 companies, including metal additive manufacturing company Seurat Technologies, LinkSquares, Anvilogic and Mojave. Fisher expects to invest in 25 to 35 companies once the fund closes.
At a time when the venture market faces significant challenges, including higher interest rates and depressed company valuations, Fisher believes mature businesses will either need to innovate or get disrupted by more innovative startups. Clean tech continues to be a hot area. And in the past decade, the transition to software technology accelerated. This means anyone wanting to stay at the top of the stack have to continue to accelerate, he said.
This is something he is already seeing happen at companies through M&A, R&D, expansion and spending across AI software, including ChatGPT.
“There's a lot of crossover because these organizations need to work better for themselves, including their employees' and customers’ experiences,” Fisher said. “They all want more efficient and cost effective interaction services, lower cost and cost to equity. When we think about companies' transformational journeys and the current venture market downturn, we are well positioned to participate in this evolution.”
Myriad also leverages an advisory council that includes corporate partners Xerox and HCLTech. The council will have access to deal flow and fosters the development of new business models and go-to-market strategies.
Meanwhile, Xerox is also the anchor investor of the new fund.
“We see a real opportunity for Myriad to succeed,” said Louie Pastor, Xerox's chief transformation and administrative officer, in an interview. “With Xerox Ventures as an internal firm, the ability to scale wasn't there. Now with an independently run firm, the ability to scale is limitless. We're very excited about what Myriad can do as it scales and brings on other partners, and also what that means for Xerox as an LP and member of the advisory council.”