Peterson Ventures, a 12-year-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based seed-stage fund, has actually long operated relatively silently, however many of its bets have ended up being recognized brand names in the particular worlds of consumer and business software investing. Among these is the shoe company Allbirds;the guys’s clothing company Bonobos(gotten a few years back by Walmart); and Lucid Software application, which closed its newest,$52 million round back in April. Thanks to a newly raised$65 million fund– more than double the size of its$ 33 million 2nd fund– Peterson has even more cash now to compose checks in the series of$250,000 to$1 million in a wide variety of start-ups. We were in touch this week with Peterson partner Ilana Stern, whose own customer startup, Weddington Method, raised money from Peterson prior to selling
to the Gap in 2016. Stern, who signed up with the clothing last fall and is based in San Francisco, shared a bit more about the company’s latest fund and where it ‘s seeking to store. Our exchange has been modified lightly for length. TC: Peterson becomes part of a bigger platform called Peterson Partners. The number of possession classes is Peterson Partners funding? IS: Peterson Ventures belongs to the Peterson Partners platform with funds that purchase lower middle market personal equity and search funds. There are over 30 people firm wide,
consisting of a four-person full-time investing group [on the venture side. We’ll be looking to include one to two more members in the next year. TC: How does the firm think about consumer versus SaaS, and is this different than in past years? First Round Capital utilized to invest half its capital in consumer-facing start-ups, and that’s not the case right now, as Josh Kopelman informed us a number of weeks earlier. IS: Our first,$25 million fund, was close to a 50/50 split; in the second fund,
we moved to 65 %/ 35 %, focusing more greatly on B2B SaaS than customer. Moving forward, we anticipate to be investing around 60 %to 70 %SaaS and around 30% to 40%consumer. The bread and butter of the Utah market is SaaS, and we expect to continue to back great SaaS business in Utah. That stated, there is a growing environment of engaging e-commerce and consumer business, including in health care and financial services where we see an ongoing’ consumerization’of those two
sectors. TC: What are two of the company’s newest bets, and what do they say about the method your group runs? IS: Via and Tava Health are 2 of our brand-new seed financial investments. Via links companies to their consumers on their preferred messaging and voice platforms. Commerce facilities is a location where we’ve been extremely active over the last five approximately years, [consisting of due to the fact that it’s a] perfect random sample of SaaS business offering into e-commerce and retail. Tava Health is a telemedicine platform for psychological health for staff members paid by companies, and health care SaaS is an area that we
have actually also bought a lot. Its founder, Dallen Allred, is someone whose earlier business, Artemis Health, is another portfolio company. TC: Out of interest, how did Peterson get involved with Bonobos? IS: Co-founders Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly were students of our founding partner, Joel Peterson, at Stanford GSB. GSB is a key location of offer flow for us. Joel has actually been teaching there for nearly thirty years. Ben [Capell, a partner with Peterson because 2010] has been involved in backing over 20 companies in the last 8 years led by Stanford GSB alumni, and I‘ve been guest lecturing there for 7 years. TC: You do not invest solely in Utah, however you spend much of your time with regional start-ups. How has the Utah scene altered considering that Peterson swung open its doors? IS: Peterson dates back to 1995, so we have actually been fixtures in the Utah market for 25 years
as a company. When we started Peterson Ventures in 2008 investing Joel’s personal capital– it’s now a mix of organizations, family offices and high net worth people– there were no seed-stage firms. Now there are three
institutional seed-stage companies, several Series A companies that will also invest in seed stage startups, and active household workplaces and angel financiers. Where the company utilized to have to work hard to convince coastal companies to invest in Utah we now have an abundance of mid-and late-stage investors from both coasts spending substantial time and investing meaningful dollars here. Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.