The former head of YC Continuity is targeting a $350 million growth-stage fund

Anu Hariharan, who led YC Continuity before the storied accelerator canceled the program, has teamed up with two of his former colleagues and former Brex executive Lucas Fox to launch a new fund targeting about $350 million to collect and operate a program that some refer to as “YC for growth,” four sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The new fund, whose name is Avra, plans to operate an eight-week program with a group of about a dozen post-Series A startups every quarter. The invitation-only program will select startups that roughly generate between $3 million and $10 million in revenue, people briefed on the program told TechCrunch.

Similar to Y Combinator’s approach, the initiative aims to connect startup founders with experienced late-stage entrepreneurs. Along with Avra’s partners – in addition to Hariharan and Fox, two other former YC executives are founding members of Avra, according to sources – these seasoned business leaders will guide the new CEOs on various challenges, including how to mature into a leadership role, and help them. to avoid common mistakes.

Avra just finished her first eight-week program. It plans to offer to invest in some startups in each cohort, some sources said, requesting anonymity because the details are private.

Hariharan and Fox declined to comment.

The first cohort of startups includes Runway, Supabase, Roboflow and Hextech, the sources said. Barry McCardel, co-founder and chief executive of Hextech, confirmed that his startup participated in Avra’s first program. Tony Xu of DoorDash and Parker Conrad of Rippling were among the teachers in the first group.

“The thing that sold me on Avra ​​was the caliber of guests they came to talk to us. It was incredibly useful and inspiring to hear from other founders, CEOs, and operators about how they built their companies. I was a little skeptical of VC programming – but Anu’s insight and the quality of the guests made it worthwhile and worthwhile,” he told TechCrunch in an email.

Runway’s Cristobal Valenzuela also confirmed the startup’s participation in Avra’s first group. Supabase and Roboflow did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

YC’s sudden move earlier this year to exit the fund in its growth stage caught several executives off guard, including Hariharan and Ali Rowghani, who jointly managed the late-stage fund. This unexpected change also leaves a gap in the growth and late-stage venture sphere, especially for a fund that is able to provide resources and connections similar to YC’s style.

Over the years, Hariharan has built a strong reputation for being extremely supportive of founders, a trait reflected in his continued board membership of several YC Continuity portfolio startups. Just two months after YC closed the Continuity fund, he has finalized plans to launch Avra, according to individuals who contacted him in May.

“‘Early growth’ companies are at a bad stage: you can have a PMF, but there’s still a lot to learn. (Avra’s) program hits all the biggest, hardest challenges that we faced, and gives us the opportunity to spend time with experts and peers who have gone through the same thing. It is very useful. My only feedback is that I wish the program was longer,” said Hextech’s McCardel .

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