[BLOOMBERG] Laurence Tosi, a former chief financial officer of both Airbnb and Blackstone Group, is in the final stages of raising a US$750 million fund to make wagers on marketplace-focused technology companies, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Mr Tosi's investment firm, WestCap Investment Partners, has received about US$1.2 billion of investor interest and is slated to close the vehicle in mid-November, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Investors in the new WestCap vehicle include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and ultra high net worth individuals or entrepreneurs and their family offices, some of the people said.
A WestCap representative declined to comment.
The firm traces its roots to Weston Capital, which Mr Tosi formed in 1997 and which made early bets in companies such as Airbnb and Tradeweb. WestCap "is fuelling the success of the world's most disruptive asset-light, tech-enabled marketplace solutions", the company said on its website.
With offices in New York and San Francisco, WestCap is backing companies including real estate-technology startups Sonder and Blueground, financial-technology firms Addepar, iCapital and Bolt, and mental-health startup Cerebral.
WestCap, which typically acquires 10 per cent to 15 per cent of a company, has also invested in travel-booking platform Hopper and ticket marketplace Viagogo, which bought StubHub from eBay. WestCap is also a backer of Skillz, which has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-cheque company Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. WestCap roughly quintupled its investment in Skillz, one of the people said.
WestCap partners include Jamie Hildreth, formerly of Blackstone; ex-Ipreo chief executive officer Scott Ganeles; former Deutsche Bank executive Bernard Abdo; and Charlie Young, also a former Ipreo executive. The firm had raised US$124.6 million as at March, a filing to the Securities Exchange Commission shows.
WestCap previously raised US$750 million in a fund that closed in 2018.