The VC Connection is a semi-regular, ongoing newsletter where we profile funds that we have developed relationships with. If you would like to see other firms we know, feel free to browse through our curated VC List, “Other VC Firms.”
Based in Palo Alto, Vertical Venture Partners (“VVP”) is an early-stage VC firm focused on Software, Healthcare and DeepTech companies targeting specific industry verticals. When it comes to building a company, VVP believes the best management teams not only “know” their problem, but “understand” it through first-hand experience dealing with it as operators. This operational experience positions these founders better with customers because they have often been “in their shoes” and can relate. VVP’s approach to working with founders post-investment is flexible, but typically they are hands-on in many ways, which may include helping with recruiting, go-to-market strategy, non-dilutive funding, and introductions across the board – prospective customers, investors, technology development partners, etc.
VVP has a specific investment thesis focused on verticals and tends to stay away from those that are heavily regulated, B2C, or capital-intensive. VVP’s stage focus is Seed, Seed+, and Series A rounds, where there is usually some early traction with customers. VVP invests initially invests anywhere from $500k to $4M into their portfolio companies and prefers to lead or co-lead.
Thesis: Early Stage US Software Healthcare, and Deep-Tech Companies
Industry: Industry Agnostic, Avoid Heavily Regulated Verticals and B2C Companies
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Stage: Seed and Series A
Initial Investment: $500k to $4M
Select SD Portfolio Companies: 1859, Abreos Biosciences, Alida Bio, Basilard BioTech, Concert Health, NanoCellect Biomedical, SOCi
Headquartered in Irvine, the Cove Fund focuses on the greater So Cal region – from LA to San Diego. The fund focuses on great founding teams, centered around the belief, great teams are able to solve the problems that startups face and figure out the path to success.
The fund focuses mainly on the Seed stages with some Series A rounds, with companies that have a proof of concept and indication of a product market fit. Investing between $250k and $1M, while reserving additional capital to participate in further rounds. The firm prefers to lead rounds but will follow trusted lead investors on a situational basis.
In Oct 2021, the firm closed their third fund at $30M. The firm has funded over 40 So Cal startups, with numerous investments in San Diego companies such as Carlsmed, Daasity, Dermala, Fluid Power, GoSite, Lynx Bio, Vessel and Zesty.
Thesis: Southern California Tech and Life Science Startups
Industry: Tech and Life Science
Location: Irvine, CA (The Cove at UCI)
Stage: Seed and Series A
Initial Investment Size: $250k to $1M
SD Portfolio Companies: Dermala, GoSite, Ubiq, Daasity, Lynx Biosciences, Matrix Sensors, Vessel Health, and Visgenx
Here at Connect our mission is to help San Diego’s incredible startup companies grow and succeed. One way we do that is by connecting our startups to venture capitalists. If you are interested in getting connected with our network, we recommend you apply to our program, Springboard. Where you get the opportunity to speak with expert advisors.
Keep on charging forward,
The Connect Team