First Round Capital bets big on Philadelphia

San Francisco and New York, move over. First Round Capital doubles down on the U.S. city's enterprise tech community with a new downtown headquarters.


First Round Capital is putting down roots in the United States city of Philadelphia.

The national seed stage venture capital fund announced this morning that it would be moving its headquarters to America's fifth-largest city after determining that its tech startup community had matured enough to positively benefit the firm.

(If you're unfamiliar with the firm, it's backed enterprise startups such as online marketing company 33Across, cloud company Backupify, data warehousing firm Aster Data, CRM company Get Satisfaction, document firm Intelligize and database group MemSQL.)

First Round's headquarters is currently located in West Conshohocken, Penn., a suburb of Philadelphia. (Naturally, it also has offices in San Francisco and New York.) That may not seem like a big move -- as the crow flies, it's just 14 miles -- but the motive shows a venture capital firm that is increasingly looking outside its traditional backyards for talented entrepreneurs and valuable ideas.

Managing director Josh Kopelman had this to say about it:

I've seen more and more interesting startups get created in more and more diverse places. Cities such as Boulder. Austin. Portland. Providence. And, yes, Philadelphia. From Invite Media, Monetate, Curalate, Relay Network, PackLate, Solve Media and Warby Parker (which we were fortunate enough to invest in) to AdMob,, Milo, Venmo, DuckDuckGo and Lore (where we didn't invest) we've begun to see more really exciting companies get their start in Philadelphia.

Kopelman cites Philly's strong education sector (University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, etc.), organizations (e.g. Philadelphia Startup Leaders), coworking spaces (e.g. Independents Hall) and proactive mayor (Michael Nutter) as proof that disparate threads are finally coming together, enough to turn a corporate location into a talent pool.

First Round's new HQ will span 10,000 square feet and be located in University City, which (true to its name) is where many of the city's institutions of higher education are located. The plan? Host events, build a community and make room for entrepreneurs to hang out and work.