Merging two venture capital funds focused on one startup-rich portfolio is expected to create a larger platform for founders in up-and-coming markets, said Chris Marks.
“While a merger is unique in the venture world, this feels very natural based on our overlap in values, our shared commitment to supporting authentic leaders, and our similar focus on markets outside of New York and Silicon Valley,” said Marks, general partner with John Fein in Firebrand Ventures.
The firm now is investing out of the Firebrand II fund, having completed a first closing in January that successfully secured more than 90 percent of its $40 million target. The fund comes as the result of a merger between Marks’ Boulder-based Blue Note Ventures and Fein’s Kansas City-based Firebrand Ventures. The investment team also includes principal Maranda Manning.
A larger fund size means Firebrand II can often lead seed rounds, which can be hard to find for founders in these markets, said Fein, a former managing director for Techstars who invested in 30 startups during his time with the Kansas City accelerator.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be merging funds and joining forces with Chris,” he said. “Both Firebrand and Blue Note have seen great performance and the merger amplifies our strengths as we continue to support exceptional founders in up and coming communities.”
Firebrand II is expected to continue its predecessors’ focus on companies in Boulder, Denver, Chicago and Austin.
Click here to learn more about Firebrand’s investment criteria.
“Firebrand’s geographic footprint has expanded to the thriving Boulder/Denver ecosystem, serving the entire Rockies region. This enables us to meet more exceptional founders where they are,” said Fein. “Our broad network and deep experience as entrepreneurs, operators and investors helps founders build transformative companies.”
The two funds previously co-invested in several companies, he added, noting it became obvious they shared not only a similar investment strategy, but also an underlying approach to supporting entrepreneurs.
A combined portfolio includes such companies as Automox, Dwolla, Replica, FullContact, and PathSpot.
Click here to check out the portfolio.