Opening Fund IV, Leveling Up a Stellar Team
Promoting Sam Toole to Partner, bringing on CFO and Partner Mike Witkowski, and preparing for our biggest year yet.
So much can change in 18 months: From the delirious highs of ‘21, to public stock compression hitting startups and stoking anxieties in ‘22, and now even more uncertainty ahead as ‘23 brings what appears to be at least a semi-crisis in our banking system.
We won't know for some time just what particular flavor of challenged this environment is, as I shared recently with The Information, but we know we're looking at a landscape that will require real work, real grit, and both founders and investors who are deeply committed to taking head-on the hurdles ahead.
So with that, a series of related announcements: We’re bringing our largest-ever fund online, we’re promoting Sam Toole from Principal to Partner, and we’ve brought on world-class CFO Mike Witkowski to ensure we have the systems, structure, and discipline befitting the $1 billion AUM institution that we have become.
Fund IV is live, and we’re ready to invest in a new generation of early stage founders
When we raised $425 million in new funds last fall, covered in Forbes as our largest and fastest fundraise to date, we expected to begin investing from these new pools by year end. But like so many other firms assessing this environment, we slowed our pace to make sure we were being thoughtful.
At the same time, we shifted more focus toward our increasingly prolific incubation engine, which has now played a large role in filling the final slots in Fund III’s portfolio and got us ready to move ahead with Fund IV.
We are about to close on our first Fund IV investment, one we’ll keep wraps on for a while, and look forward to adding quickly to that portfolio, showing up for seed-stage founders like never before. (Founders, peruse our People page to assess the best fit for your pitch—emails are all listed.)
Sam Toole has joined the Primary Partner team as our healthtech lead
This is a no-brainer promotion based on three impressive years of proving his hustle and domain expertise here at the firm, playing a big hand in developing excellent healthcare companies like J2, Jukebox, Dandelion Health, Perry Health, and Spark Advisors, to name a few. Before coming to Primary, Sam was an operator and sales leader at Nomad Health, and he works with founders in a way that’s deeply empathetic to the realities of startup life. This guy has got curiosity, raw smarts, and energy—it’s been a pleasure and an inspiration to watch him build and grow, and we’re excited about his next chapter here.
Mike Witkowski has joined us as CFO and Partner
Mike hadn’t even officially started working for Primary when the SVB bomb dropped, but he brought tireless leadership to nonstop work through the crisis and set an incredibly high bar for service and sophistication in how we show up for founders, LPs, and each other. We’re already seeing his best-in-class discipline and strategic thinking make us better and stronger, and are excited for him to be joining us at this exciting inflection point in our growth. He joins us from Maveron, where he spent 14 years developing an informed, incisive approach to VC firm finance leadership.