Business

US family dynasty opens next gen investment front

Members of the next gen of one of America’s wealthiest family dynasties have opened a new investment group that has just participated in a deal worth more than $100 million. 

Four More Capital, set up a little over a year ago by descendants of the Chicago-based Crown family, invested alongside lead sponsor SoftBank Vision Fund and five other investors in a Series C round in Platform Science, a fleet management software group. Altogether Four More and the other investors contributed $115 million to the San Diego-based group.

In 2020, the family, who still own a stake in General Dynamics, were ranked by Forbes as the 34th wealthiest family in the US, with a fortune estimated at $10.2 billion. 

The deal is believed to be Four More’s first direct deal in the venture sector. If so, it shows the group is already playing at the top table with big named investment groups willing to invest in late-stage venture rounds. Platform Science’s other round participants included the Joe Lonsdale-backed fund 8VC and the Abu Dhabi royal family-backed Chimera Investments.

Four More’s founders are W. Andrew Crown and Torie Crown, both fourth-generation descendants of Henry Crown, one of the most successful US industrialists of the 20th century. Crown founded Material Service Corporation, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. Henry Crown owned a majority stake in the huge aerospace and defence company. He also owned the Empire State Building. 

The Crown family has managed their fortune well. In 2020, the family, who still own a stake in General Dynamics, were ranked by Forbes as the 34th wealthiest family in the US, with a fortune estimated at $10.2 billion. 

Much of that fortune is managed by investment group Henry Crown & Co, set up soon after Crown merged his company with General Dynamics. The family office is now overseen by James Crown, grandson of Henry and son of Lester Crown. Still alive, Lester, 96, diversified the family fortune into other iconic American businesses, including a minority stake in Hilton Hotels. Other investments include sports teams, the Chicago Bulls and the New York Yankees. 

Although not confirmed, Torie Crown is believed to be one of the four children of James Crown. According to her LinkedIn profile, Torie works as an investment professional for Henry Crown & Co and Four More. Interestingly, Torie also spent some time as an intern at Addepar, the Joe Lonsdale-founded wealth management platform. 

According to regulatory filings, W. Andrew Crown is the principal of Four More; he is also believed to be Torie’s brother. Before setting up Four More, W. Andrew gained an MBA from Stanford and worked for Valor Equity Partners and Goldman Sachs. 

Unconfirmed reports suggest the “Four More” part of Four More Capital might refer to the fourth generation of the Crown family.

Four More is an excellent example of how the next generation of family dynasties often set up their own investment offices rather than being absorbed into the established family office.

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