Maven gets second Gill as Friend drops out

Vanguard Ventures co-founder Jack Gill has agreed to join emerging manager Maven Venture Partners, according to sources familiar with the situation. The move comes after co-founding Partner Marc Friend recently left the firm.

Jack Gill is the father of Maven co-founder Jennifer Gill Roberts. It is possible that the senior Gill will replace Friend, but his advanced age and the fact that he lives in Houston, Texas, make a part-time role at the Menlo Park, Calif.-based firm more likely. Prospective LPs say that he will bring some gravitas to Maven, which was formed last year to invest in early stage companies that develop “applications, services and software platforms that enable mobility.”

In an email to PE Week, Gill Roberts wrote: “We’ve recently added a new partner to the Maven team, a 20+ year serial entrepreneur and venture pioneer who built a top tier early-stage venture platform, delivered top quartile returns over multiple funds and whose success compliments our Mobility thesis. We will announce this new partner in a week or two.”

Asked in a phone interview last week if the new partner is her father, Gill Roberts declined to comment.

She co-founded Maven earlier this year with Friend and George Richard, a former telecom executive. They later added Laura Gwosden as a CFO. Gwosden was previously a CFO at ComVentures, Red Rock Ventures and Vanguard.

Friend and Gill Roberts met as co-investors in software startup Everypath Inc. At the time, Friend was with U.S. Venture Partners, while Gill Roberts was a general partner with Sevin Rosen Funds. Friend later joined Summit Partners, but both began to feel that their respective funds were growing too large to accommodate early stage investing.

The team began circulating documents earlier this year for an inaugural fund targeted at $150 million. Limited partners, however, say they weren’t terribly impressed. Gill Roberts didn’t have many positive exits to her name, while Friend’s stronger ROI resume was partially marred by his work on the Summit Accelerator funds (even though he helped turn it around a bit before leaving).

In her email, Gill Roberts wrote that the fund is “on track for a first close this fall.” While fund-raising, the Maven team has been actively looking at deals. “Over the past year we have diligenced 100+ deals and have funded three pioneering early stage mobility companies,” Gill Roberts wrote. She did not name the three startups.

Word of Friend’s departure from Maven began circulating late last month. He did not respond to PE Week’s requests for comment.