Utah-based Peak Ventures has closed on a second fund for $50 million, outpacing Kickstart Seed Fund as the seed VC firm with the largest coffers in the state thus far.
Peak took in $23 million for the first fund and has since invested in local startups like Owlet and Homie as well as the New York-based Nigerian education startup Andela.
Sid Krommenhoek and Jeff Burningham launched the fund in 2014 to give some of the early-stage startups in the state and surrounding areas a leg up in growth and connections. This is about the same time as the tech industry was just starting to find its legs in the area. However, the two, who were both operators in previous startup ventures, saw the struggles many of their fellow founders faced when trying to get the needed funding and realized a good part of that was a lack of seed funding in their own hometown.
“Those connections are crucial,” Burningham told TechCrunch, “We’d both gone the Silicon Valley route before and it’s tough if they don’t know you.”
Peak raised $23 million at the time to help give entrepreneurs in the state some room to grow before going for larger rounds.
However, with the new fund, the two plan to provide assistance in both seed and follow-on Series A rounds for some of their portfolio companies as well as other opportunities in Utah tech and the surrounding areas, including Phoenix, Denver and Boulder.
Burningham also mentioned a focus on edtech based on Krommenhoek’s background (he sold his previous startup to Chegg) and their investments in Andela and the Silicon Valley-based Degreed.
They’ll also continue to participate in rounds with some of the more well-known VC firms in the Bay Area. We’ve heard from multiple sources Accel recently led a fresh round of funding for Peak’s up-and-coming enterprise portfolio company Podium, which seems to be having quite the growth spurt. We’ve heard GV is also in the round and according to at least one source close to the matter, the round was for $30 million with more than a $100 million valuation.
Podium had only taken a small amount of seed funding from Peak outside of its participation in Y Combinator and the confidence of some of these larger firms with reliable track records is one of many examples clearly showcasing Peak’s ability to pick solid early investments.
Fund II comes from contributors such as Domo’s Josh James, Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig as well as high net worth individuals and some institutional investors.