As we say goodbye to another remarkable year, we are thrilled to present our annual Year in Review newsletter. 2023 has been a testament to resilience, innovation, and strategic growth within our space. Despite the challenges presented by a dynamic global landscape, we've remained steadfast in our commitment to invest in companies, ideas and people that are accelerating human kind’s potential. 

Our exceptional team was able to achieve new milestones and take on even more projects. We welcomed six new members onto the team across all areas of business.

Q4 2023 marked a significant milestone for Interplay as we proudly announced the closing of our third fund, securing $45M to focus on B2B marketplaces and vertical software. See our announcement in TechCrunch here.

We wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season. 

Best wishes, 
Team Interplay

Venture Capital

Our Venture Capital vertical focuses on identifying and investing in promising technology-enabled businesses across Seed, Series A, and Series B. We aim to partner with founders who are passionate about solving meaningful problems and building scalable businesses.

Q4 2023 marked a significant milestone for Interplay as we proudly announced the closing of our third fund, securing $45M to focus on B2B marketplaces and vertical software. Reaching this point is a testament to the continued support of our valued partners and the collective efforts of our exceptional team.

In 2023, we were thrilled to invest in and welcome eight new companies to our portfolio:

  • Monument is an online alcohol treatment platform that provides holistic treatment with therapy, medication, and community.
  • OnsiteIQ is a construction intelligence platform for real estate investors.
  • StellarFi is a public benefit corporation on a mission to make good credit universally accessible.
  • Autolab is a digital platform that connects repair shops with car owners to help people get reliable repairs and companies grow.
  • KnotAPI is focused on democratizing internet account interoperability through technology.
  • Pepper is a complete eCommerce solution for independent food distributors of all sizes.
  • Plenty is where modern couples invest and plan for their future together.
  • Safi operates the recycling industry's first digital B2B marketplace, underpinned by advanced AI powered material quality certification.

Incubator

Our Incubator partners with existing early-stage companies to help them succeed and scale. We work with a relatively small number of companies at once.

If an accelerator is like a classroom, our Incubator is like private tutoring.Here are the six companies that joined the Incubator in 2023: 

  • Next Generation is a fashion company with the patented magnetic patch system.
  • Inked Sports is streamlining sponsorship promotions between brands and underserved college athletes/universities.
  • Purple AI is rewriting the rules of the fashion industry by infusing data-driven insights into every stitch and seam.
  • Patrol is a personal safety network that empowers users to protect themselves and those you care about.
  • Hot Takes shares local business reviews from the most trustworthy source: your friends!
  • Vendor Connect is simplifying the aggregation of all supply chain data from order to delivery.

Family Office

In 2024, the Interplay Family Office will be rebranded into Ascend Interplay. This new identity reflects our capabilities as a cross-asset allocator with a singular focus on increasing the global impact of our families. We launched a joint venture with a prominent Single Family Office in Asia to create a new division in Hong Kong and Singapore where we will bring on strategic families from the region. This venture will create an exclusive community for collaboration amongst families and empower them to invest in cross-border international opportunities.

  • We added three new team members: Partner (focused on the Ascend Asia Office), Director (focused on Member Family Initiatives), Associate (focused on Investment Diligence).
  • In addition to expanding our advisory services in Tax, Insurance, and Estate Planning, we have built out offerings in: Full Service Travel Planning, Mortgages and Asset Backed Lending, Cybersecurity, Second Passports (we've designed a proprietary model ranking 40 countries across 15 attributes), Philanthropy / Foundations.

Investment Update

Our high level thesis guiding the investment process this year was in lower-middle market buyout and private credit. We expanded our pipeline in these asset classes and committed to several top tier funds. We also continued to focus on VC and real estate on an opportunistic basis.The team's average check size increased 2x- 3x across all asset classes.

2023 Deal Flow Summary

  • 486 Opportunities Reviewed
  • 38 Opportunities Reviewed by Investment Committee
  • 23 Investements Made

Services

Interplay’s service companies employ hundreds of people and provide core operational services to a significant percentage of venture-backed startups in the US.

Here are a few select highlights from Bowery Legal, Chelsea Capital, Firon Marketing and Spoke.

  • In 2023 Bowery Legal continued to make a name for itself as a highest-of-quality firm in the Startup, Emerging Companies, and VC legal industry. In doing so, over the course of the past year, they’ve brought on several new investment fund clients along with many new growth-stage company clients migrating over from larger firms in the space. Bowery continues to be one of the best deals in the legal space and the market seems to be taking notice.In addition to that, after weathering the storm of a shaky beginning to the year across Tech and VC markets, Bowery has put itself in position at the end of the year to be back out in the hiring markets – they are officially searching for motivated and talented attorneys who are looking for a better way to live and work.If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the team, please fill out an application at interplay.vc/join.
  • Chelsea Capital's accounting team continues to impress and brought on some big names this year, such as Superhuman. The tax business grew by over 25% and they're actively hiring to support the growth of the business line.If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the team, please fill out an application at interplay.vc/join.
  • Firon's 2023 was about strengthening internal teams, client relationships, and quality all around. They also solidified their strategic focus on long-term results and LTV instead of short-term ROAS.We're extremely proud of every department (SEO, Advertising, Social Media Management, Website Development, Email/SMS Marketing, and Content Writing) and are looking forward to 2024 with the latest and greatest recent client additions.Please check out their new website!
  • In 2023 Spoke solidified a significant partnership, representing 20% of team growth across eight divisions. This strategic expansion has set the stage for collaborating with two additional clients, broadening their impact. Furthermore, revenue and employee growth achieved 100% YoY growth. 
    Their team's stability is a highlight – with many members surpassing five years; their retention rates are a testament to their cohesive and committed environment. They've also introduced a Team Leader program designed to create upward mobility for employees as well as to add support and continuity to key accounts. Regarding global expansion, they've successfully integrated new sourcing partners in Sri Lanka and Mexico, with Columbia on the horizon. Their focus on tech hubs is strategic, aligning with market demands and emerging trends. With its higher accountant per capita ratio, Sri Lanka was a crucial addition, particularly as our need for Senior Accountants grows. Their approach for the upcoming year is to emphasize their unique value propositions – from legal compliance and HR advisories to IT security. These are critical areas where, without Spoke, clients could face vulnerabilities. Their goal is to be seen not just as a service provider but as a partner offering stability, security, and long-term solutions. Lastly, brought on a new CEO - Shaun Walker - to bring Spoke to new heights.

Foundry

  • Formed 1 New Company, Wendy. Wendy is a dynamic team of storytellers, engineers, and designers, on a mission to revolutionize the creation of children's stories through the power of tech. With a background in developing technology companies and a rich literary heritage, we are driven by our passion to make a difference in the lives of young readers.
  • We added four Operating Partners with different backgrounds to help grow the Foundry. We're excited to welcome Lance, Tracy, Jason and Dan to the Foundry team.

Content

This year we continued to focus on creating educational and useful content for founders, startups, VCs and LPs through our podcast Innovation with Mark Peter Davis. Since launching the pod in January of ‘21, we’ve reached 109 episodes! The most recent episode, and the last of the year, is our predictions for 2024, linked here.

P.S. To stay in the know and/or get in touch, feel free to click any of the links in the footer:

  • Engage: This is a one-stop-shop for all of the ecosystem’s offerings. Apply to Interplay Ventures and Interplay Incubator and/or learn more about and get in touch with our service companies
  • Join: If you’re interested in joining the team, feel free to apply! This will also put you on the general Interplay radar by adding you to a database we track and keep in mind for opportunities with our portfolio companies.
  • Subscribe: This will sign you up for our newsletter and keep you in the know.