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Ken and Ben Lerer, are a father and son team, who have a strong track record of fostering East Coast media based start ups through their New York-based investment Lerer HippeauVentures, have announced that they closed their fourth fund, having raised a total of $62 million in capital commitments, greatly surpassing their original target of $12 million.
This latest round of funding is the fourth since Lerer Ventures were established in 2010, since then they have successfully nurtured a number of flourishing startups. Among them Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Chartbeat and online opticians Warby Parker.
With the establishment of their latest fund, Ken and Ben Lerer have officially changed their name to Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with the extra surname coming from Eric Hippeau, who has been a partner in the venture capital firm for the last three years, joining the Lerers from the Huffington Post, where he held the post of CEO.
With his extensive knowledge of the media industry, Eric Hippeau believes that the current “consumerization” of information technology is a trend that particularly benefits New York, as tech moves beyond the city’s traditional strengths in finance and media.
Lerer Hippeau Ventures, whose previous three funds, valued at around $70 million, have invested around 70% of that sum in and around New York city, according to Eric Hippeau, expects that investment ratio to continue with their latest fund, with company also continuing their strategy of focusing on early-stage investments, with larger amount of investment capital available in their fourth funding round, allowing Lerer Hippeau Ventures to enjoy more freedom to increase funding levels in the initial seed capita; rounds, as well as in Series A and occasionally in the Series B funding rounds.
Kenneth Lerer was a founding partner of New York-based corporate communications firm Robinson, Lerer, and Montgomery.
Lerer has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, University of Pennsylvania and New York University, where he lectured on the media and American corporations.
Ken Lerer is Chairman Emeritus of the Public Theater in New York City as well as serving on the board of directors for several nonprofit organizations, among them the Association to Benefit Children (ABC), and the Bank Street College of Education.
Ben Lerer, a graduate of University of Pennsylvania, in addition to his duties at Hippeau Lerer Ventures is also CEO of the Thrillist Media Group, which he co-founded in 2004 and was jointly responsible for overseeing the company’s growth to become a force in the online media market, specializing in localized e-mail marketing
Ben also acts as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the East River Development Alliance, a New York nonprofit organization as well as being an Associate Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADASas well as being an active mentor for THE NYC Venture Institute.
Eric Hippeau graduated from the Lycee Francais de Londres and attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, formerly Chief Executive Officer of The Huffington Post. Hippeau is also a partner at Softbank Capital, a U.S. based venture capital firm, who specialize in investing in early stage technology and digital media companies, with the company being one of the earliest investors in the Huffington Post where he joined the board in August of 2006. Prior to joining Softbank Capital, Eric Hippeau served as Chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis, the Chicago based print and internet publisher.