Fission Ventures: Giving Columbia Alum Access to Institutional Venture Capital

Interview with Rob Bibow, Managing Partner, Fission Ventures, posted: May 19, 2020

CBSACNY: What is Fission Ventures?
Bibow: Fission Ventures was established to give Columbia alumni a smart, simple way to add institutional-quality venture capital to their portfolio. Fission Ventures is one of about two dozen funds which form Alumni Ventures Group, the 3rd most active venture capital investor in the U.S. and 7th most active globally.

CBSACNY: Why do you call it “institutional-quality” venture capital?

Bibow: Because we only co-invest alongside the world’s leading institutional venture capital investors, including: Andreesen Horowitz, Fidelity Ventures, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, etc. Here is a list of some of our portfolio companies.

CBSACNY: Why should people consider investing in venture capital?
Bibow: Major institutions often have up to 15% or more of their portfolio in venture capital funds for two reasons, (a) average historical returns of almost 35% annually for the last quarter century, and (b) virtually zero correlation with public equities, which means it is great for portfolio diversification. Venture capital was previously only accessible to institutions and to the very wealthy. Through Fission Ventures, Columbia alumni can now invest alongside some of the world’s top venture capitalists, but with a minimum investment of only $50K.

CBSACNY: How does Fission Ventures fund work?
Bibow: We raise a new fund every year, and each fund invests in 20-30 highly diversified venture capital deals. Our current fund closes at the end of May and we are taking reservations now.

CBSACNY: Do you invest in Columbia alumni-backed venture deals?

Bibow: Absolutely! We are always looking to invest in our fellow Columbia alums. If you are raising capital and have a lead investor, please submit your deal to the Alumni Ventures Group Entrepreneur’s Portal.

CBSACNY: Is your fund open to anybody? How can I learn more?
Bibow:  If you want to learn more about venture capital, please join our community of over 18K Columbia alumni (and growing). If you are interested in investing, our fund is open to all accredited investors who want to diversify their investment portfolio with an allocation to venture capital. If you are interested in learning more about investing in Fission Ventures, please feel free to schedule a call to discuss further. 

Abbreviated bios and contact info:

Rob Bibow
Managing Partner, Fission Ventures
Ex-Goldman Sachs
Notable investments: Lyft (US$25 billion NASDAQ IPO), Mobileye (US$15 billion Intel acquisition),
Qihoo 360 (US$62 billion IPO Shanghai), Rong360 (US$3.5 billion NYSE IPO), Compass, Better Mortgage and Dataminr

BA Trinity College
CBS ’96


Zachary Wang
Principal, Fission Ventures
Ex-Alpha Square
Notable investments: Digital Ocean, SoFi and Oscar Health

BA Ohio State
CBS ‘17