One of the most prominent seed investors in Utah, Kickstart Seed Fund, has closed on its fourth fund at $74 million — nearly doubling from the last funding of $39 million and toppling Peak Ventures as the fund with the most raised in the region.
The large increase was driven by several institutional investors as well as several notable Utah entrepreneurs including Aaron Skonnard of Pluralsight, Jeremy Andrus ofTraeger Grills, Ryan Smith of Qualtrics and Stephen Neeleman of HealthEquity.
However, strategy won’t change with the new coin. Kickstart tells TechCrunch it will continue to make “meaningful seed- and early-stage investments in startups and elite entrepreneurs based in the Mountain West.”
Utah has seen impressive growth in tech startups in the region in the past few years and now includes five unicorn companies in the Wasatch Front region (an area spanning from Ogden to Provo, Utah). According to Grow Utah, there are approximately forty-one angel, private equity and VC firms in the region to choose from when it comes to startup funding. The National Venture Capital Association has ranked Utah as “one of the fastest growing ecosystems over the past five years” and said it was tied for sixth by annual growth in number of companies receiving venture funding.
Kickstart launched in 2008 to help startups in the area gain the funding needed to get off the ground. It has since invested in more than 100 startups and managed $148 million of capital commitments. Noteworthy investments include Stance Socks, Homie and Lucid Software.
In addition to the close of the fourth fund, Kickstart announced the promotion of Alex Soffe and Curt Roberts to administrative partner and partner, joining current partners Gavin Christensen and Dalton Wright.