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Opportunity for $140 Million of Fresh Earliest Stage Capital for Boston Startups

Underscore VC’s Fund II is Oversubscribed as the Team Promotes Co-Founder Richard Dulude to Partner

Underscore VC, a Boston-based Seed-to-A venture capital firm focused on SaaS applications and infrastructure, filed an amended Form D to cap its second fund (Fund II) at $140 Million. The firm intends for the oversubscribed Fund II to invest in earliest-stage Boston startups. And, notably, the team has promoted one of its co-founders, Richard Dulude, to Partner.

Underscore’s first fund was also oversubscribed, with $85M in commitments from some of the world’s leading academic institutions, hospitals, and global foundations. Fund II was accelerated by Fund I Limited Partners that were eager to re-invest with the Underscore team.

“We are thankful for the support and encouragement of our investors who convinced us to expand the firm further,” said Michael Skok, Co-founder & Partner at Underscore VC. “Given Boston’s culture of innovation and ecosystem of exceptional talent, we’ve chosen to go all in on our Boston community and focus investments on fueling bold, Boston-based founders.”

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Underscore expects to continue to invest in companies at the earliest-stage and to double-down on contributing to the Boston startup ecosystem through its continued engagement with and expansion of the Underscore Core Community. The Core Community, which is comprised of Boston’s leading entrepreneurs, executives, and tech experts, provides founders with the aligned resources necessary to build enduring businesses. The strength of the ever-growing Core Community is exhibited each year at functional best-practice workshops, industry roundtables, topical dinners, peer meetups, community summits, and investment reviews for Core Partners.

To even better support its growing Core Community, Underscore has rounded out its team with four new hires including, most recently, the hiring of the firm’s new Community Manager, Jenni Goodman. Furthermore, in order to effectively support more founders on-site in its office in Boston’s Old City Hall, the firm is doubling the incubation space it makes available to the entrepreneurs in which it invests.

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Notably Underscore is very excited to announce the promotion of one of its co-founders, Richard Dulude, to Partner.

“This is a multi-decade business, which is why we’ve focused from the start on making Underscore multi-generational,” said John Pearce, Co-founder & Partner at Underscore VC. “Richard had proven himself as an angel investor before co-founding Underscore, and he’s already had successful exit events at Underscore. Most importantly, he knows more than anyone that ‘Partner’ is not as much a title as it is a role and a responsibility to truly partner with the entrepreneur.”

Richard, who co-founded Underscore with Michael Skok & John Pearce in 2015, began his venture career at Founder Collective after exiting Popt, a machine learning startup he co-founded. Previously, Richard worked as a developer at Apple and a quantitative analyst at Goldman Sachs. Richard holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Masters of Engineering and Bachelors of Science from Cornell University.

“For me as a first-time founder, Richard has been incredibly valuable in helping us navigate the ups and downs of running a startup,” said Sharon, Co-Founder & CEO of Commonwealth Crypto. “He’s not only fun to work with, but he has really invested his time in understanding our business and thoughtfully helping us navigate each challenge. It’s great because he has seen it all before.”

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Having made his mark at Underscore by championing AI/ML, cloud infrastructure, and blockchain technologies, entrepreneurs have repeatedly sought to partner with Richard, including two of Underscore’s most recent investments, Forge.AI and Commonwealth Crypto. Additionally, Richard has been a Board Observer at other Underscore portfolio companies, including Salsify and Zaius, which have progressed into their respective growth stages.

“Richard is a partner in the truest sense of the word,” said Jim Crowley, Co-founder & CEO of Forge.AI. “He’s hyper-focused on what’s right for Forge, and acts as a reliable sounding board. Also, look where Richard is investing – he’s focused on where the puck is going, not where it’s been – Those are the people we want as partners. We’re fortunate to have Richard in our corner and on the Forge board.”

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