Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the original seed VC firms in Silicon Valley, having closed 190+ investments since 2004. An early angel investor in Web 2.0, Jeff and his team have backed successful startups like Mint (Intuit), Kongregate (GameStop), Brightroll (Yahoo), LiveRamp (Acxiom), Milo (eBay), Wildfire (Google), Bleacher Report (Turner), Gnip (Twitter), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Eventbrite, Sendgrid, Poshmark, Hired, Postmates, Vungle, Shippo, Front and Molekule. The portfolio has also seen acquisitions by Groupon, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL. The firm is currently investing out of its $100M Fund V, making on average 15 seed commitments of $1M per year in mobile/cloud saas, consumer services, connected devices, marketplaces and “frontier tech” (AI, AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, digital manufacturing and material science, space tech).
Born, raised and educated in France, Jeff graduated with a MS in Computer Science and a degree in Distributed Computing. He joined Effix, a financial services startup, as one of the initial developers while still at school and eventually led it as CTO. After 5 years, Reuters acquired the company and Jeff expanded his remit to several product and development organizations in Europe and the USA. In 2000, he moved to Silicon Valley as General Partner for RVC, the $450M venture fund affiliated with Reuters.
In 2004, Jeff left RVC to start SoftTech VC and invest in the early pioneers of Consumer Internet. Within a couple of years, he was being recognized in the media as one of the “super angels”, and in 2007, he subsequently raised one of the first micro-VC funds, $15M Fund II. After three years, and 60+ investments closed on his own, Jeff built a team and raised a larger, $55M Fund III that invested in 55 companies. In June 2014, the firm celebrated its 10-year anniversary, its move to San Francisco and the close of Fund IV. Two years later, the firm announced the closing of $150M across two funds, a $100M seed-focused Fund V and a $50M Plus fund that is making $3M to $5M investments in mature, existing portfolio companies.
Jeff was appointed on the board of the National Venture Capital Association in 2015, a 4-year mandate. In the SoftTech portfolio, he sits on the boards of Handshake, DocSend, Molekule and a number of stealth investments. He is listed on the Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalists in the world.
One of the early VC bloggers in 2004, Jeff is now a popular conference speaker and social media/TV commentator. When he is not spending time with SoftTech’s portfolio companies, Jeff enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking, scuba diving, collecting wine and hanging out with friends and family.
MS, Computer Science1987 - 1990
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