Episode 68: How to Choose Your Compliance Strategy

How can you make sure that you’re communicating your offering to potential investors in a way that’s legally compliant? When you’re offering any kind of investment (equity, debt, SAFE, etc.), there are state and federal laws, known as securities laws, you need to make sure you’re following. 

In this episode of Capital Insight Podcast, Jenny and Michelle give you an overview of securities compliance law and how to determine which compliance pathway might be right for you. Unpacking decision points such as if you want to advertise your raise publicly, how much you’re raising, where your investors are located, and more, Jenny and Michelle guide you through factors that will help determine which compliance options best fit your needs.

Listen to the full episode below to learn more about this topic, or click here.

Subscribe to the Capital Insight Podcast on your favorite streaming platform!

Catch up on our latest episodes!

The Capital Insight podcast intro and outro is voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at reel.peach.vo@gmail.com

Episode 67: How to Decide What to Offer to Investors

What should you be thinking about when designing your offering to investors? In this episode of Capital Insight Podcast, Jenny and Michelle dive into the five decision points to consider when crafting your term sheet for investors. From how you structure your entity to choosing the economic rights of your investors, these decision points can help guide you in creating a customized offering that best fits you and your business.

Listen to the full episode below to learn more about this topic, or click here.

Subscribe to the Capital Insight Podcast on your favorite streaming platform!

Catch up on our latest episodes!

The Capital Insight podcast intro and outro is voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at reel.peach.vo@gmail.com

Securing Funding by Expanding the Definition of “Investors”

In Conversation with Veronica Jow, Founder and Physician at Avid Sports Medicine

As a board-certified Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine physician, Dr. Veronica Jow empowers her patients through the use of empathy, education, and partnership. With a background in medical anthropology and a passion for movement as medicine, Veronica treats everyone from elite athletes to underserved communities in the San Francisco area.

Veronica has over fourteen years of experience in the traditional healthcare setting, as well as experience working with healthcare start-ups. Leveraging her knowledge from working with start-ups that have tried to tackle the medical system before, Veronica now sets her sights on building The Avid Platform, an online resource that solves the challenges faced by people with musculoskeletal conditions.

In this conversation, Veronica Jow and Jenny Kassan discuss their mission-driven approach to funding The Avid Platform. 

Why did you choose an alternative to VC-funding to develop The Avid Platform? What approach did you determine would better align with what you wanted to accomplish?

Veronica Jow (VJ): After my previous experience with a venture capital backed company, I was seeking a funding strategy that allowed me to stay aligned with my values and vision for The Avid Platform. I wanted to obtain funding, but not at any cost. I wasn’t sure that was even possible until I met Jenny. The way that Jenny and her team talk about fundraising and mission driven investing is inspiring for both founders and investors.

Jenny Kassan (JK): Given Veronica’s focus on building an online platform, and her being based in San Francisco, many people she talked to assumed she was on the venture capital path, where investors are looking for a fast exit with a high valuation. Veronica’s goal is to make meaningful change in healthcare, so it was clear she needed a different approach. By using a mission-aligned fundraising strategy, we worked together to identify investors that were interested in investing outside of a venture capital model, and honed the messaging to ensure that there was little time wasted with investors who were not the right fit.

What has been the key to successfully securing values-based investors?

JK: For investors that are passionate about investing in a brilliant physician and woman of color working to solve a major problem in healthcare, this total package was a no brainer! 

The Avid Platform has very high growth potential, as well as the potential to pay generous returns to investors. We just needed to make it clear that the way investors would get paid would be outside of the venture capital model. I believe that an investment model that relies on building profits and sustainable growth is far more likely to yield healthy returns, rather than a model that relies on the one in a million chance of a big exit. We needed to make it clear that this was not an investment offering that would require investors to sacrifice generous returns, but rather that the returns would come in a different way.

VJ: Jenny’s guidance has empowered me to seek investors where I wouldn’t have thought to look, and because of that, I’ve been able to attract several investors that I feel are totally aligned with my vision.

By expanding the definition of what makes an investor, I’ve been able to help people realize  that where they choose to put their dollars is essential to creating the world they want to live in. Investing locally is such a simple and elegant message that resonates with many people.

What is a piece of advice you’d offer to a business owner considering a creative (non-VC) approach to raising capital?

VJ: Using a coach and advisor like Jenny for organization, inspiration, and challenging your own money biases is critical. Non-VC funding is not yet the default model, so sometimes you’ll feel like you’re swimming upstream. Boldness and persistence are needed. It can be a lonely and long road, but with like-minded people around you, it’s easier to stay focused and get results. 

About Dr. Veronica Jow

Through medical anthropology courses as an undergraduate at Harvard, Veronica developed an appreciation for the ways that social, cultural, and biological forces influence health and illness. She studied and experienced how the ways we move, think, and feel are interconnected.

Following medical school at Case Western Reserve University, Veronica selected a residency program in Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian-Cornell because it encompassed a comprehensive view of adult health and illness in one of the busiest and most diverse places in the country. Throughout her training, she gravitated toward the idea of exercise as medicine, and felt most successful with patients who needed help returning to or maintaining an active lifestyle. This led her to pursue advanced fellowship training in Sports Medicine at the University of Connecticut.

Veronica built Avid Sports Medicine in response to the fragmented healthcare model. Avid’s team of professionals created an integrated care model and proprietary protocols that have led to dramatic improvements for their patients. When she’s not working, you can find Veronica running, dancing, roller skating, and parenting her two high-energy kids.

Growing Community Wealth Through Funding BIPOC-Owned Businesses

In Conversation with Della Clark, President of The Enterprise Center

Della Clark’s vision for minority entrepreneurship is about making minority-owned businesses count, serving as catalysts for sustainable economic development in their communities. Since 1992, Della has worked to bring this vision to fruition as President of The Enterprise Center — an organization at the forefront of the Greater Philadelphia region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

“Everything that The Enterprise Center does is aligned with our mission of growing minority wealth through accelerating minority-owned businesses,” says Della. “When I joined The Enterprise Center, I knew that I had found my life’s calling. I also — naively — thought that we could train and educate our way out of inequality.” 

According to the data platform Crunchbase, only 2.4% of venture capital is flowing to founders of color. Della is now embarking on bridging the capital gap for minority enterprises with Innovate Capital Growth Fund, a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) sponsored by the nonprofit Enterprise Center.

“We need Innovate Capital and more mission-based funds in general,” says Della. “We may not be able to right past inequities, but today we are able to invest in high-potential mature firms that may not have had access to equity capital when they first started.”  

The goal for Fund 1 is $50 million with an investment thesis based around building the balance sheet and scaling minority standout companies to create wealth and a new model for future investments. In this conversation, Della Clark and Jenny Kassan discuss the fundraising strategy they have designed to attract institutional impact investors to this innovative venture.

Why is a mission-aligned fundraising strategy the right fit for Innovate Capital?

Della Clark (DC): It eventually became evident to me that access to capital is the No. 1 disruptor for minority-owned businesses: If a small business owner does not have capital to sustain operations and fund growth, the business stays small. I also observed that our larger, more sophisticated minority-owned firms were struggling to fund the next stages in growth strategies — whether it be investing in technology, people, or acquiring another firm — because their balance sheets were over-leveraged with debt. These businesses were not able to access equity capital at their early and growing stages, resulting in lower growth trajectories compared with majority-owned firms that were able to build their balance sheets sustainably with investment from friends and family and angel investors. 

Jenny Kassan (JK): Innovate Capital is providing supportive equity funding to those who have had almost no access to non-extractive capital in the past. The team behind this fund has been supporting overlooked entrepreneurs for decades and they know what is needed for them to be successful. Mission-aligned funding will allow this fund to achieve its goals, prove its investment thesis, and move on to a larger fund with SBIC leverage.

What is your approach to successfully convincing investors they can do good and see a healthy return from Innovate Capital Growth Fund?

DC: You know, I am known around town for busting kneecaps. (Just kidding!) For me, this is the culmination of 30 years of building relationships and getting my message out there. More than once, I have been called an evangelist for minority-owned businesses. Still, it has not been an easy road. A lot of investors say that they’re values-based but still want funds to promise stratospheric returns on their investment, which is not something we can do. 

JK: Innovate Capital has huge competitive advantages compared to many other funds — it is addressing an incredibly underserved market with generous potential returns; the team has decades of experience providing business support services and debt financing via its CDFI; and, unlike so many equity funds, it has a “no failure” model — the fund will do what it takes to support all of their portfolio companies to succeed. We encouraged the fund to emphasize these differentiators that are likely to be very attractive for values-based investors.

DC: I don’t let “No” bother me. I am out there every single day meeting with and pitching to new potential investors, and I am happy to report that we have $30 million committed towards our initial $50 million raise. My approach is to stay on message and stick to the vision. 

What is a piece of advice you’d offer to a business owner considering a creative approach to raising capital?

DC: My advice is to think big! It might seem like a good idea to try and preserve your ownership stake and minimize debt by bootstrapping everything on a small raise, but it will slow your growth if you quickly burn through the capital that you raise. 

JK: Women of color fund managers face major challenges when raising capital. It is not a simple task to raise a $50 million fund when the odds are stacked against you and the minority-owned businesses you plan to invest in. But if you can exhibit the huge amount of tenacity, fierce commitment, and courage that Della has, you are bound to succeed.

About Della Clark

Motivated by her belief that business success is a team sport, Della Clark epitomizes the core values of collaboration and economic growth that drive the outcomes of The Enterprise Center as operator of a Pennsylvania and New Jersey MBDA Business Center and a US Department of Transportation Small Business Transportation Resource Center. Under Clark’s leadership, businesses have obtained more than $870 million in contracts, $209 million in financing, and created 3,221 jobs through the PA Minority Business Development Center. Minority- and women-owned businesses have secured more than $30 million in loans to start, grow, and succeed through The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation. Clark led efforts to create the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises, a 13,000+ square-foot food business incubator and hub of community health and nutrition resources in West Philadelphia, now in its 10th year of operation. 

Clark currently serves as a board member for the Philadelphia Equity Alliance, University City District, and Bridge of Hope CDC and serves as a Trustee of Drexel University. She is also a proud Eisenhower Fellow. Clark was recognized in August 2022 with a Lifetime Achieve Award by the Philadelphia Business Journal. She is one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential by the Philadelphia Magazine and is also one the Philadelphia Tribune’s Most Influential African American Leaders for over 10 years.

Episode 66: How Perpetual Purpose Trusts Can Preserve Your Mission

Have you ever wondered how you can preserve the mission of your business over the long term? In this episode of the Capital Insight Podcast, Jenny Kassan shares the basics of Perpetual Purpose Trusts — including what they are, how to use them, and why you might want to set one up for your company. 

Let’s start with the basics: What is a Perpetual Purpose Trust? 

You may have heard that Patagonia recently transferred its ownership to a Perpetual Purpose Trust (PPT), and many of our clients are choosing to do the same. A traditional trust is a legal arrangement in which someone, typically called the settlor, makes an agreement to have a trustee manage an asset on behalf of a beneficiary. Unlike a traditional trust, a PPT has no beneficiaries. Instead, a PPT requires that the trustee manage its assets to serve a purpose, which is defined in the trust legal documents. 

Why you might want to set up a Perpetual Purpose Trust:

Putting a PPT in place can help preserve the mission and purpose of your company in the long run. Generally, when a company sets up a PPT, the trust acquires an ownership interest in the company with voting rights so the trust stays in control of the company, and the company must be run in a way that is consistent with the trust purpose. Jenny says: “I’m very excited about this tool because it really is the only way that you can ensure that a company stays true to its purpose over a very long period of time — into perpetuity, theoretically.”

Listen to the full episode to learn more about this topic. 

Subscribe to the Capital Insight podcast on your favorite streaming platform!

Catch up on our latest episodes!

The Capital Insight podcast intro and outro is voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at reel.peach.vo@gmail.com

Episode 65: Is Investment Crowdfunding a New Economic Development Tool? 

In this episode of the Capital Insight Podcast, co-host Michelle Thimesch chats with the co-founders of Pink Bench Distilling about their handcrafted business model designed to bring prosperity to northwest Montana. Pink Bench is the shared vision of Kristina Boyd and Shawna Kelsey to establish a mission-driven distillery that will address three of the state’s most persistent concerns in rural areas: conflict with bears over backyard fruit trees, creation of jobs on local farms and forests, and inclusive community development around innovative growth. Continue reading for highlights from the conversation with Kristina, a wildlife biologist, and Shawna, a rural development specialist, about their plans to open Pink Bench Distilling in late spring 2023.

The co-founders are currently raising capital via investment crowdfunding. This approach made sense given that Pink Bench grew out of both a value for conservation and the desire to provide a community resource. “Welcoming the community into investing in the business just made so much sense to us [so] that people could be involved in a meaningful way that’s mutually beneficial,” Shawna says.

Since Pink Bench is not yet open, supporters at this stage are investing in a business concept — and the founders themselves. That requires a lot of trust, the founders agree. “It really puts a fire under us to get this done,” Kristina says. “We don’t want to disappoint these people. We don’t want to take these people’s money and run. We know them. And they’re part of our community, and we’re part of their community. And this is a contract between us.” Listen to the podcast to learn more about Pink Bench Distilling. 

Subscribe to the Capital Insight podcast on your favorite streaming platform!

Catch up on our latest episodes!

The Capital Insight podcast intro and outro is voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at reel.peach.vo@gmail.com

Episode 64: Local Economic Development and the Dangers of Corporate Greed 

What would happen if we prioritized small businesses and entrepreneurs and reimagined the possible ways to benefit our communities? In this episode of the Capital Insight Podcast, co-host Michelle Thimesch — a securities lawyer and capital raising expert — takes a deep dive into local economic development and highlights three innovative businesses that are doing well by doing good in their communities. Continue reading to explore some highlights, or listen to the episode (under 20 minutes!) for more insights. 

Local Economic Development Trends

Recent news stories have exposed the dangers of unchecked corporate greed and its impact on the residents of distressed business districts and rural America. A recent report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance highlights the systematic destruction of communities caused by discount dollar stores clustering in such a way that they kill any existing locally-owned grocer or retailer. Once the local competition is decimated and gives up, residents are left without fresh food options and must survive on the unhealthy packaged foods and inferior quality products offered at dollar stores. 

“For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business versus a national chain, $25 more per $100 stays in that community. So a balance between national chains and locally owned small businesses is really critical to the health and sustainability of our local economies,” Michelle says. The good news? Many entrepreneurial-minded people want to fight back. “Ingenuity is alive and well,” Michelle says. “If we can solve the issue of funding for small businesses that are looking to have a positive impact in their community and be disruptive about the status quo that doesn’t work, we can restore hope in economically depressed areas.” 

Below are three examples of businesses that are innovating to address challenges in their communities. “I hope we can continue the conversation about the power dynamics at work in our local business districts and small towns,” Michelle says. “When we recognize the ways we are inadvertently contributing to our country’s economic and social decline, we can begin to consider investing in the ripples we want to encourage.”

3 innovative businesses making a positive impact 

Investment crowdfunding democratizes access to capital and allows communities to build the kinds of businesses that work for the local economy. The three social enterprises listed below are all on Crowdfund Mainstreet, or its local label Crowdfund Montana, both regulated investment crowdfunding platforms for mission-driven ventures.

Pink Bench Distilling: Wildlife biologist Kristina Boyd and rural development specialist Shawna Kelsey are co-founders of Pink Bench Distilling in Troy, Montana. This social enterprise is working to address three of the state’s most persistent concerns in rural areas: conflict with bears over backyard fruit trees, creation of jobs on local farms and forests, and inclusive community development around innovative growth. 

MedFire Innovations: This medical device company was created to support the ideas and solutions of first responders and other frontline healthcare workers. MedFire helps doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and public safety professionals with feasibility studies, concept development, design and manufacturing, small batch prototype production, verification and validation testing, FDA clearance and approval, IP, and branding. In addition to the product innovation arm of MedFire, the company aims to be a powerful medical expo organizer focused on connecting the networks and sales prospects developed by industry workers. 

The Super Crowd Inc: Devin Thorpe, Founder of The Super Crowd Inc, has witnessed first-hand the struggle many people face to align their investments with their values. Devin has advocated for investment crowdfunding since 2016 and formed The Super Crowd Inc. to advance impact crowdfunding. Regular people without direct investment experience are encouraged to join a free or low-cost investment cloud, where individuals share the work of vetting the offerings and conducting due diligence.

Subscribe to the Capital Insight podcast on your favorite streaming platform!

Catch up on our latest episodes!

The Capital Insight podcast intro and outro is voiced by Marina Verlaine. She can be contacted at reel.peach.vo@gmail.com

Growing a Social Enterprise with Mission-Aligned Fundraising  

In Conversation with John Tapper, Founder & CEO of All Learners Network 

John Tapper was a classroom teacher for over 20 years before he founded All Learners Network — a professional learning organization focused on creating equitable access to quality math instruction for all students. Demand for ALN’s services has been growing exponentially each year and more funds were needed to extend its reach to more teachers and students. Because All Learners Network is a profitable, evergreen service business—not a high growth tech company—John was eager to find an alternative to VC funding. 

“VC investors generally want to run the show and prioritize growth over everything else,” says John. “Finding aligned impact investors was important to us and to our organization so that we could scale while staying focused on our mission.” 

John had read Jenny Kassan’s book, Raise Capital on Your Own Terms, and reached out to learn more about non-VC funding strategies. In this conversation, John and Jenny discuss how ALN adopted a mission-driven fundraising strategy and describe the offer they designed to successfully attract values-based investors.

The Kassan Group (TKG): How did you two work together to determine the right kind of investors for ALN?

John Tapper (JT): At All Learners Network (ALN), we’re trying to change opportunities for students through mathematics. Our mission comes first. We want to find investors who not only understand that, but support the idea. 

Jenny Kassan (JK): Because of ALN’s skilled management, track record, niche, and business model, it’s making a positive impact while also generating significant profits, enabling it to offer generous annual returns to investors. But these returns will come from profit sharing, not from a “liquidity event.” Therefore, ALN needed to find investors who were happy to receive annual checks instead of waiting for that big exit VC-oriented investors want.  

TKG: Describe the process you used to design an investment offering to attract the right kind of investors for ALN. 

JK: We worked with ALN to design an investment offering that fit the company’s goals and plans. We helped the team consider the interests of all stakeholders—customers, employees, and investors—to enable the company to attract investors without compromising on its commitments to any stakeholders. We eventually settled on preferred stock with an annual cumulative dividend and a redemption option at year five, as well as a debt offering for those investors that prefer the extra protections that come with a debt investment. 

TKG: How did you begin connecting with investors?

JT: We started with our own network—it’s important to make sure the list of people who care about your mission is deep. Our board has several members who are connected to the same small (250-student) mission-driven college in Maine that I graduated from, College of the Atlantic. They reached out to other people connected to the school and were able to interest some of investors. 

TKG: How have your conversations with investors gone? What have you learned? 

JT: I’ve learned the importance of being authentic in your communications with potential investors. ALN’s biggest investor interviewed me three times before he gave us any money. During the second interview, he asked me to tell him the relative value of mission and profit. Without thinking, I told him 80% mission, 20% profit. Later I thought, “What a mistake! I told a potential investor that we prioritize our mission well above making lots of money!” I contacted him to try to clarify. He told me that was just the answer he was looking for. He is exactly the kind of investor we want to work with.

TKG: What’s your best advice for social entrepreneurs seeking investors? 

JK: There are so many bright shiny objects that cross your path when you’re raising money. Well-intentioned people share information about platforms you can list on, events you can pitch at, impact investors you can contact, etc. Unfortunately, a huge majority of those opportunities are designed for companies following the VC funding path. If you are not on that path, you need to be disciplined about discerning which opportunities fit your model and steadfastly avoid wasting time on those that don’t.

JT: Change your thinking about investing in your company. If you’re a mission-driven organization, seeking investors can feel like asking for a donation. My investors are going to make a substantial return on their investment. I’m proud of that, even though it took me a while to really wrap my head around investment, rather than “donation” or “contribution.”

Our biggest investor said that, although he believes in our mission and organization, he expects to make a substantial return from his investment. Beyond “doing well by doing good,” investing in our company makes good financial sense. We’re almost halfway to our goal and continuing to hustle.

About John Tapper 

John Tapper was an elementary classroom teacher, math curriculum coordinator and math coach for over 20 years. His teaching experiences range from the two-room elementary school in Vermont where he began his career to his work at the Neighborhood School on the Lower East side of Manhattan. 

John completed his Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning at New York University focusing his research on teaching methods that support struggling math learners and the effects of poverty on mathematics learning. John has provided professional development on mathematics learning throughout the U.S., Europe, and Japan. He is the author of, Solving for Why: Understanding, Assessing, and Teaching Students who Struggle with Mathematics, K-8, Teaching Math for All Learners, and the upcoming book, Invisible Butterflies: Rigor and Support for Learners with Math Difficulty. He is also the author of numerous reports and research studies.

John is the founder and CEO of the All Learners Network, an organization that makes math accessible to students regardless of background or circumstance.

A Triumph for Crowdfunding and Community-Owned Business

Nestled at the base of Teton Pass in Wilson, Wyoming, Hungry Jack’s General Store has been a community institution since 1954.

When the owner was ready to retire and move away, the community knew it had to act to keep the store locally owned.

A steering committee formed to raise community funding to buy and upgrade the business.  The Kassan Group drafted the investment documents and completed the securities filings that made it possible for over 210 investors, of all levels of wealth, to purchase over $7.5 million in equity shares.

On January 18th, the community-owed entity signed the closing paperwork to purchase Hungry Jack’s General Store!

Thinking about bringing together your community to purchase an important local business or real estate asset? Contact us to learn how we can help!

The Story of Indie.vc

The following is a summary of writings by Indie.vc and its founder, Bryce Roberts:

There are countless OGs including Qualtrics, Github, Atlassian, Mailchimp, and Spanx and a new guard like Calendly, Zapier, Webflow and Notion all with a focus on early profitable growth. Having spoken to many of these founders and CEOs, none would trade that early foundation of customer needs and profitable growth they were built upon.

This strong foundation stands in contrast to the Blitzscaling playbook we’ve engineered our entire startup ecosystem around. We optimize our blogposts, livestreams, and tweetstorms around how to raise as much money as possible as quickly as possible. Rather than a solid foundation, Blitzscaling is oft described as “throwing yourself off a cliff and assembling your airplane on the way down”

And the results of that model reflect it, with around .1% of companies who raise venture capital ever actually achieving venture scale.

Clearly, Blitzscaling is a viable blueprint for a select few to follow to grow their business and ultimately reach venture scale. But, it isn’t the only viable path, nor is it the only one we should orient our startup ecosystem around.

As Qualtrics’ experience and outcome demonstrate, not raising and burning piles of money doesn’t have to be a scarlet letter for the unfundable; rather, removing the distractions that come with the fundraising treadmill can be a superpower for many to reach venture scale without the pressure to Blitzscale.

. . . .

The Indie.vc Model

Traditionally, technology investors only get their money out when you sell out (another term for this is a “Liquidity Event”). An investment from Indie.vc doesn’t preclude you from selling, but in the event you stay independent, our investment will get paid out as distributions from cashflow over time.

The schedule for cash distributions will be based off the founder’s salary at the time of funding or, in the case of a founder paying themselves far below market, based on a market salary for founders in your area. Once the founder’s salary exceeds 150%, we will consider that excess distributions and begin to participate in those distributions. Initially, we will get 80% of those distributions while the founders take 20% until our initial investment has been returned 2x. At 2x the model flips to 80% to founders, 20% to indie.vc until we’ve received 5x our investment. Distributions to Indie.vc are capped at 5x.

Only if and when you choose to raise more money from traditional investors or sell out do we become shareholders in your company.

In the event you choose to raise money, our initial investment would convert into pre-money preferred shares (assuming you’re issuing preferred shares to the new, lead investor) in your company and we’d have a pro rata right to participate in the round to preserve our pre-determined ownership level.

In the event you choose to sell out, we’d convert into common shares at the pre-determined ownership level just prior to the acquisition.

So, what is this pre-determined ownership level?

Given that this is an experiment, we thought it only fitting to push the experiment one step further by trying something new. Rather than having us specify a minimum ownership level, we’re going to let the founders determine what ownership percentage they’ll contribute.

A simple summary of these terms can be found in the Google doc posted here.

Then, Indie.vc shut down: https://bryce.medium.com/what-ended-indie-76575463934d

Then on 12/23/22, Bryce Roberts sent out an email announcing its resurrection:

In a year where liquidity all but dried up for startups and investors, our indie-focused fund was able to return/recycle nearly 20% of the fund via scheduled equity redemptions and proceeds from acquisitions. One of our indie companies crossed $50M in revenue (having only raised $1M total). Today, that fund is posting a 45% net IRR.”

Despite many of the issues that ultimately led to indie’s demise, it’s working. Sure, some things needed killing or tweaking. But the core thesis and community were just fine all along.

So we’re rebooting indie.

After over a year of exploring and investing, looking for my next thing, I just can’t shake indie. It’s the only thing I want to work on. It’s the only way I want to invest.

We’ve closed around $20M of our $50M target. Individual and institutional investors seem much more inclined to lean into the indie story today than the last time around.

We have a long way to go, but my hope is that we’ll be relaunched and making new investments in late Q1/early Q2 of 2023.

— Bryce