By ET Bureau - July 01, 2022 4 Mins Read
Peterson Ventures, a pre-Series A venture firm that invests across SaaS and digital commerce announced today that it has raised over $140M in new capital for its Fund IV and Opportunity Fund I. Like its prior core funds, Peterson Ventures’ Fund IV will invest up to ~$2.5M into Seed and Pre-seed stage startups. The Opportunity Fund I will enable the firm to invest follow-on checks at the growth stage in breakout portfolio companies from its core funds. With the launch of these two new funds, Peterson Ventures now has over $550M in assets under management.
Peterson Ventures was founded in 2012 and is the ten-year-old venture arm of the Peterson Partners platform, an independent investment management firm with over $1.8B assets under management, originally founded by Joel Peterson. Ben Capell, Managing Director at Peterson Ventures, joined the firm 12 years ago and helped to launch the firm’s venture investing activities, and was joined by fellow partner, Ilana Stern, 3 years ago. Peterson Ventures has invested in six unicorns and had 2 IPO’s in the last ten years, including Allbirds, Ethos, and Lucid Software.
“Being able to partner and collaborate with so many founders in the way that we do has been hugely satisfying,” said Ben Capell, Managing Director at Peterson Ventures “We’ve invested in nearly 100 founders so far and we look forward to growing not only our portfolio but our team as well. I love the work we do and am honored to keep it going with the support of some amazing Limited Partners.”
Peterson Ventures’ investments are sourced from a three-pronged approach: 1) the firm’s strong roots in the Utah tech hub, a state which saw $26B in transaction value generated in 2020; 2) access to the talent and entrepreneurial ecosystem at Stanford’s GSB MBA program, where the firm’s partners have a deep network from decades of teaching and investing in students as well as alumni; and 3) an elite network of founder alumni referring companies to Peterson Ventures. This combination affords Peterson Ventures early access to key deals.
“Being part of the Peterson Ventures team has been incredibly fulfilling,” said Ilana Stern, General Partner at Peterson Ventures. “I love working one-on-one with our founders to leverage my operating experience as a former founder and CEO. I have been in their shoes and know how important and impactful it can be to have investors with you every step of the way, especially through the uncertainty of finding product-market fit and early scaling.”
With nearly 100 investments, Peterson Ventures looks at SaaS and Digital Commerce startups with a specific lens. With SaaS, the firm pursues a vertical strategy, with investments across healthcare, future of work and e-commerce enablement. With digital commerce investments, the firm looks for entrepreneurs who are disrupting distribution, bypassing the middleman to get more direct access to customers and to provide higher quality products at better value to the end consumer. Its DTC investments focus on historically low NPS industries and experiences spanning e-commerce, healthcare, fintech, and consumer-enabled marketplaces.
“We love Peterson Ventures. They were the cornerstone investor in our first financing when we graduated from Stanford GSB with a vision and a powerpoint deck,” said Peter Colis, Co-founder and CEO of Ethos Life. “It was harder to raise our pre-Seed than any subsequent round, and we are so grateful they took a bet on us day one and have been in our corner ever since. Ben and the Peterson Ventures team are best in class at the earliest stages.”
The Peterson Ventures team is growing and Taylor Jones, a former Peterson Ventures portfolio founder, joined as Principal in August 2021. Prior to joining Peterson Ventures, Taylor was the co-founder and COO at Blue Matador, a cloud infrastructure monitoring startup, and previously worked in go-to-market and strategy roles at Google and American Express. Taylor holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. from Brigham Young University. Along with Ilana, Taylor is now the second portfolio founder to join Peterson Ventures full-time. The firm plans to continue growing its team with hires in both its SLC and SF locations.
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