Riot Ventures, the Los Angeles-based, early-stage and deep know-how funding agency goes out to market to lift a $75 million second fund to finance the event of startups in LA and past, in keeping with fundraising paperwork seen by TechCrunch.
The agency has largely flown beneath the radar, but it surely has been investing in startups making use of improvements in automation, synthetic intelligence, laptop imaginative and prescient, computational biology, materials sciences and robotics to industrial merchandise and processes for the previous two years.
Its first fund was a modest $10 million car that the agency’s co-founders, Stephen Marcus and Will Coffield, raised to check the thesis their fledgling fund was exploring. Mainly, they thought that robotics and machine studying had been going to remodel the whole lot from aerospace to industrial manufacturing and retail, they usually noticed Los Angeles as a singular location from which to deploy capital.
For the reason that preliminary fund launched in 2017, the businesses in Riot’s portfolio — together with a lot of later-stage particular function investments made in corporations just like the point-of-sale pill producer Toast; the metallic 3D printing gear producer Desktop Metal; and Protect AI, a stealthy drone firm that works within the protection business — are actually value roughly $16 billion.
In all, Riot has invested round $60 million by its direct investments and particular function autos. However it’s not the capital that units the agency aside, in keeping with the pitch deck seen by TechCrunch.
Marcus has a protracted background in angel investing and firm creation. He’s a six-time serial entrepreneur whose offered telecom corporations to acquirers like American Tower, Sprint and Nationwide Grid. In the meantime, Coffield has spent the previous a number of years constructing out a community in Los Angeles and eight years within the enterprise capital business.
Nevertheless, the agency locations its emphasis on its latest associate, Jenna Bryant, a recruiter who spent the previous years constructing out groups for a few of the largest names within the Los Angeles know-how and leisure industries, together with Walt Disney Co., Oculus, Snap, Tinder and others.
“We actively recruit for our portfolio corporations which allows us to satisfy a big swath of extremely technical individuals,” the agency writes in its pitch deck. “We use this pool to win offers, make our corporations extra precious, and discover future onerous tech founders. It is a core asset and performance for our agency led by our Associate Jenna Bryant.”
Simply as necessary as its recruitment apply is its place in Los Angeles, which is rising as a hotbed for expertise in robotics, rocketry, drones and protection. That’s borne out by investments in corporations like Protect AI and Elementary Robotics — two corporations within the Riot portfolio primarily based in Southern California.