2022 at True: Year in Review
By Jon Callaghan and Phil Black, December 19, 2022
We end 2022 with immense gratitude for the creativity, tenacity, and inspiration we get to see every day in the work of True Founders and their teams. While it’s tough to sum up an entire year in a few paragraphs or even one infographic, a few headlines and events stand out to us as we reflect on our most recent trip around the sun together.
Most of all, 2022 for True was a year to be back in person, working together. That simple phrase, “in person, working together,” meant a lot to us this year as we collectively re-learned how nourishing, productive, and inspiring it can be to spend time with our teams.
In March, we hosted our 16th annual True Founder Camp in Napa, California, where more than 240 of us gathered in person to share best practices, compare notes, and simply help each other. Those days together, which drew in founders from as far as Australia and across all the sectors in which we invest, cemented the importance of face-to-face time for our community. That time builds bonds that make us all stronger and able to endure.
Thanks to the steadfast support of our investors and Limited Partners, we successfully closed our eighth fund, raising approximately $885 million for True Fund VIII, our largest fund to date. With this capital, we will continue our relentless focus on empowering and emboldening the brave founders in today’s seed ecosystem. Specific to this time and vintage, we see immense opportunity for new teams to come together and create products with wonder and value in today’s fastest growing markets.
Over True’s history, we’ve funded more than 25 repeat founders. These are the founders who have come back to True when creating subsequent startups. We’ve backed five of those founders three times over. This means a lot to us, as we believe the great founders of today will create many world changing companies and products, and it’s our strategy to be a partner to them in all their future endeavors. The power of these relationships is what makes True true, and we’re so grateful for the hundreds of founders who have trusted us along the winding road of company creation and innovation.
This year, we launched True Connect, a long envisioned and incredibly powerful software platform created for True Founders and their teams. It’s a beautifully designed space where founders can connect with one another, access the many guides and resources we’ve created for them over the past seventeen years, and search through more than 10 years of wisdom shared by True Founders and their teams. As always, we believe “the answer is in the room,” and our Platform Team has created unparalleled value for portfolio teams to share, learn, and grow together.
We formally launched Trueventures.org, a new initiative designed to catalyze social return and direct the immense entrepreneurial talent of our for-profit founders to their peers in the nonprofit world. This initiative, supported by the True team, helps entrepreneurs create solutions to societal challenges including racial and social injustice, economic inequity, and the destruction of our natural world. Change-making organizations can apply for Trueventures.org support here.
Beyond the founder community, Team True grew to include Accounting Manager Rachel Curtis, HR Manager Graham Hayes, and Executive Assistant Cindy Jo Cheaney now that our SF office is open more regularly for work together. A considerable number of our team members have moved into more senior roles, which is both exciting and sentimental for us as we think about our team growing from a handful of us in 2005 to a team of 44 today, in addition to the exceptional consultants and freelancers who help to support our firm and brand.
To that end, we are thrilled to announce the promotion of Priscilla Tyler to the role of Vice President. “PT” joined us in 2015, and since then has been an exemplary, spirited, and highly collaborative player across all of our work. She has been an exceptional leader in our climate tech investing, and across our Platform with the design and launch of our Follow-On Fundraising Support Program. Congrats, PT, and well done!
As we wrap up 2022, our team and community feel more connected than ever, and we are grateful for every person and family playing a role in what True has become. Our year-end posts are our moment to say thank you and give credit where it is due: to True Founders, our team, our LPs, and the many individuals who help to make us all better operators, team mates, friends, and family members. Here’s what we did together in 2022 at True: