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For most of its 12 years, Thrive Capital has been known as a fast-growing venture capital firm that struck some savvy deals, most famously an investment in Instagram that doubled in value within days.
But for the past four years or so, the firm and its 35-year-old founder, Joshua Kushner, has become just as well known for something unrelated to the fortunes of the fund: Mr. Kushner’s older brother, Jared, a top adviser and son-in-law to President Donald J. Trump.
Charles Kushner, was imprisoned for two years after pleading guilty to illegal campaign donations and witness tampering in 2005. The brothers have also done business together, co-investing in ventures like Cadre, a real-estate technology start-up. (The younger Mr. Kushner has never formally worked for the family’s real estate business.)
Jared Kushner divested his holdings in Thrive before joining the White House, and no member of the Trump family has invested in the firm, according to a person briefed on the matter. After leaving the White House, Jared has not invested in Thrive.
the Women’s March in 2017 and the March for Our Lives the next year. He has also mostly donated to Democrats over the years, including Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker.
His wife, the model Karlie Kloss, has been more openly critical of Mr. Trump, from elliptically referring to disagreements with her in-laws on talk shows to holding up a 2020 ballot while wearing a Biden-Harris face mask. (When a Twitter user pressed Ms. Kloss to chide her in-laws over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and Mr. Trump’s baseless election conspiracy theories, the model responded, “I tried.”)
In private, Mr. Kushner has made his feelings clearer. Stewart Butterfield, the chief executive of Slack, recalled that shortly after the 2016 election, Mr. Kushner, whose fund invested in the workplace messaging firm earlier that year, called him.
“I don’t remember what he said exactly,” Mr. Butterfield said, “but it was a tactful way of saying, ‘These are not my positions.’”
a private event for Oscar in 2018, Mr. Kushner concluded a recap of the year’s challenges by quipping, “We survived Donald Trump.” He then added, “Don’t tweet that.”
bought a mansion in Miami last August; several months and one presidential election later, Jared and his wife bought a multimillion-dollar plot that is a short drive away.
Since founding Thrive in New York in 2009, at the age of 25, Mr. Kushner and his team built a reputation as low-key, nerdy investors who prefer sifting through balance sheets and strategy documents than pontificating on social media.
Mr. Kushner has also benefited from a high-powered network: Early backers included Princeton University and Peter Thiel, and in 2013, Thrive hired Jon Winkelried, a former president of Goldman Sachs who is now co-chief executive of the investment giant TPG, as a senior adviser. Employees include former staff members in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.
raised $2 billion for two new funds last month. The firm declined to comment on its financial performance. “They have been consistently a high performer in our portfolio,” is all that Mr. Walker of the Ford Foundation would reveal.
Thrive first focused on consumer-facing businesses like the eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker and the e-commerce platform Jet. Among its first blockbuster hits was Instagram, where it invested in 2012 at a $500 million valuation as part of a financing round, only to see Facebook agree to buy the social network for $1 billion 72 hours later.
Despite all the attention that later went on Mr. Kushner’s high-profile brother, Thrive didn’t appear to alter its approach in the Trump era. One big win was the sale of the online code repository Github to Microsoft in 2018. Thrive had invested $150 million in Github for a 9 percent stake; the company was sold for $7.5 billion.
In the waning days of the Trump administration, Thrive’s bets included becoming one of the first outside investors in Vimeo, the video platform owned by IAC, when it led a fund-raising round for the company at a $2.75 billion valuation in November. In January, Vimeo raised another round, at a $6 billion valuation.
Thrive was “a bit of an underdog” when Vimeo was vetting investors, said Anjali Sud, the company’s chief executive. But she was won over by what she called “this insanely dense, nuanced analysis of Vimeo and our market.”
Since then, she said, she texts or calls someone from Thrive most days for advice or guidance as it prepares to be spun off from IAC this year.
run for president in 2024, and Jared could again serve as one of his top advisers. That would renew the tests of loyalty and related complications that the younger Mr. Kushner may have thought were behind him.
What do you think? Will Joshua Kushner’s family ties always loom over his ventures? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.