Media Analyst Rich Greenfield, LightShed Principals Launch New Venture Capital Fund

Rich Greenfield, center, with, from left, sportscaster Peter Schrager and NFL executive Brian Rolapp a a 2018 event hosted by the NFL. Greenfield's Lightshed Partners has launched a venture fund. Bennett Raglin/AP Images for NFL

Longtime Wall Street analyst Richard Greenfield and principals at boutique research firm LightShed Partners have launched an early stage venture fund in the tech, media, telecom and consumer space.

LightShed Ventures announced its first fund today, $75 million focused on Seed and A rounds aimed at finding the next “category defining companies in TMT.” The team includes LightShed analysts Greenfield, Walter Piecyk and Brandon Ross as well as Jamie Seltzer, who joined LightShed Ventures in September from Waverly Capital, the investment firm co-founded by Edgar Bronfman, Jr.

The firm said LightShed Ventures Limited Partners include one significant institutional investor “and an incredible group of prominent media, telecom, tech, sports, entertainment, music and financial executives.”

LightShed Ventures said its portfolio currently includes investments in Antenna, Podchaser Slipstream “and one unannounced investment in the creator space.”

Greenfield, Piecyk and Ross have worked together for more than 15 years as research analysts, previously at BTIG. They launched LightShed Partners in 2019. Seltzer brings a decade of private investment and entrepreneurial experience to the firm.

“LightShed Partners will serve as the foundation for what we do at LightShed Ventures.  Our unique, thematic research remains our life blood.  The principles behind our research will underpin our investments. But the research itself is just the start of our flywheel,” Greenfield said.

Piecyk said LightShed Partners has differentiated itself with a deep focus on disruptive private companies, a high level of engagement with the industry on Twitter and a weekly podcast and interview series. “We have been planning this obvious evolution since before we started LightShed Partners,” he said.

Greenfield, who became a kind of new breed of analyst-blogger, has been a high-profile voice on Wall Street as media and tech trends converged very much in the public eye and the industry transformed – a complex time for companies and analysts who follow them. Greenfield put a “sell” rating on Disney stock in May given Covid-19 and pressures on its traditional businesses but upgraded it in January acknowledging the call was “dead wrong.” But he was early in his peer group in championing Snap and TikTok and has been prescient in just how long he’s been touting the importance of streaming to traditional media. He continues to have doubts about the transition from an investor perspective. A report this week was titled “Legacy Media’s Leaking Bucket: When Will Investors Care?’

“While we understand investor excitement over streaming subscriber growth, especially with Netflix at a ~$250 billion market cap generating positive free cash flow, along with the accelerating shift of advertising dollars to connected TV from linear TV (albeit, off a small base), legacy media stocks that have to balance old/new business models are unlikely to be the optimal long-term investments to create value from these two secular trends,” he wrote.

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