Peterson Ventures announces $65m in fresh capital to invest in early stage consumer and SaaS startups
Peterson Ventures, a founder-first seed stage venture fund, announced that it has raised $65 million in fresh capital. Peterson Ventures Fund III will invest $250k-$1 million checks across Seed and Pre-seed stage Consumer and SaaS companies.
Headquartered in Utah with an office in the Bay Area, Peterson Ventures is part of the Peterson Partners platform, an independent investment manager with over $900 million assets under management to invest across a variety of alternative asset classes. With the launch of their third fund, Peterson Ventures has $155 million in assets under management.
Traditionally flying under the radar, Peterson Ventures has quietly invested in top Consumer and SaaS startups ranging from AllBirds, Ethos, and Bonobos to Lucid Software and HireVue. The firm's investments net from a three-pronged approach:
(1) the firm's strong roots in the burgeoning, often-overlooked tech hub in Utah, a state which saw $25 billion in transaction volume in 2019 across 474 deals;
(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
(3) an elite network of founder alumni referring companies to Peterson Ventures. This combination affords Peterson Ventures early access to key deals, and the firm plans to double down on this approach with the fresh capital.
Ben Capell, Managing Director at Peterson Ventures: "I have been humbled by the opportunity to partner with some phenomenal founders over the last 10 years. The founder-first orientation is in our DNA. It's reflected in everything we do down to the construction of our LP base, a large portion of which is made up of portfolio founders and alums, entrepreneurs and CEOs.''
The success of this entrepreneur-first mentality is also evident from the 92 Net Promoter Score (NPS) received from the firm's portfolio CEOs during the recent annual NPS poll used to gauge founder satisfaction.
Joey Zwillinger, Co-Founder and CEO of Allbirds: "I think of the folks at Peterson Ventures as real partners. They strive to help, are supportive in both good times and the rougher ones and have always felt like part of my team as an entrepreneur."
With over 75 investments across the funds it manages, Peterson Ventures evaluates investments based on a few key themes. In SaaS, the firm pursues a vertical strategy, with investments across healthcare, future of work and commerce infrastructure. In Consumer, 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. Their DTC investments focus on historically low NPS industries and experiences spanning retail, healthcare and financial services.
In 2019 Peterson hired former portfolio alumnus, Ilana Stern, as a Partner. "After having gone through the journey as a CEO scaling a company from zero to exit to a Fortune 500 and experiencing the ups and downs of that journey, I have really enjoyed partnering with other Founders and CEOs to help them see around corners and roll up my sleeves to serve them in every way I can," said Stern.
With the close of its third fund, Peterson Ventures intends to make approximately 30 investments over the next three years.
Clint Peterson, Managing Partner at Peterson Partners: "When we invest in an early-stage startup at Peterson Ventures or a more mature cash-flowing business through our Private Equity or Search Fund strategies, we think about the long game. The common theme across our different strategies is that we believe first and foremost that we're backing people and building relationships. We look forward to backing another group of great founders building great businesses."