For 25 years, Rich Greenfield has been one of Wall Street’s most influential media analysts. In 2019, after stops at a handful of Wall Street firms, he co-founded LightShed Partners, a boutique research firm that covers tech, media, and telecommunications companies.
“I’ve written about startups for so long, and always wanted to do one—and finally worked up the courage,” Greenfield told Barron’s at the time.
Having started one company, now he plans to invest in many more. The LightShed team is creating an early stage venture-capital firm, called LightShed Ventures. It’s an unusual step for a stock research firm.
Its first fund, LightShed Ventures 1, is raising $75 million to invest in seed and Series A rounds across technology, media, and telecom.
Greenfield’s co-founders on the new fund includes the team that works at LightShed Partners: Walter Piecyk, who focuses on telecom, and Brandon Ross, who covers videogames. The firm will also include new partner Jamie Seltzer, who comes to LightShed from the venture firm Waverly Capital.
In an interview with Barron’s this week, Greenfield agreed that he was creating an unusual combination of tech analyst and venture capitalist. But he thinks the move makes sense. Greenfield notes that throughout his career he has been meeting with companies large and small, whether or not they had already reached the public market.
There are successful ventures who once worked in equity research, including
at Benchmark and Mary Meeker at Bond Capital. But they aren’t trying to do both at once. Greenfield sees no conflict.
“The businesses fit together quite nicely,” Greenfield says. “I write about disruption. This will make our research even stronger. We’ve been looking across both public and private companies for a long time.”
Greenfield says the firm is targeting an initial 25 investments, likely in the $500,000 to $5 million range, while reserving some funds to support future rounds. He sees opportunities across the TMT sector, in everything from sports betting and podcasting to videogames and meditation apps—any form of consumer media and entertainment.
Says Greenfield: “My number one focus is how people are shifting their time and media consumption.” In Greenfield’s case, he’s going to be reading a lot more business plans.
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