Bradley Tusk, a former political operative who helps corporations launch political-style campaigns, runs a number of companies. One in every of them, Tusk Ventures, has been working with startups for a few years and till lately, accepted its cost in fairness solely.
That modified in early 2016 when the outfit started elevating cash from outdoors buyers trying to get into the a few of these offers. Now, says the agency, it has formally closed that debut fund with $36 million, from 22 particular person and institutional buyers.
Based on Jordan Nof, a former Blackstone director who joined Tusk in 2015 and largely oversees the fund’s day-to-day operations, the brand new fund already has stakes in seven corporations, and the group plans to fund as much as 25.
A few of its present holdings embrace positions within the every day fantasy sports activities operator FanDuel (which known as off a merger with competitor DraftKings again in July); the insurance coverage firm Lemonade; Nexar, an organization whose app goals to maintain vehicles from colliding; and a startup that sends out personalised every day vitamin packs on a month-to-month foundation, known as Care/of.
The outfit — which options each the enterprise capital fund and that political and regulatory advisory enterprise — employs 30 individuals altogether.
Along with Tusk and Nof, Uber’s former New York supervisor Josh Mohrer joined Tusk Ventures as a managing companion again in Might.
We had an e mail trade with Nof earlier at the moment and we requested about signaling danger — not each startup the fund advises will obtain a verify from the enterprise fund. Nof dismisses it as a priority, nevertheless, calling the fund and advisory enterprise ” separate however extremely synergistic.”
He additionally tells us the fund has a “distinct funding technique” and that investments need to “fulfill a special set of standards than the startups that the advisory agency engages with.”
When you’re curious, a typical first verify measurement is between $750,000 and $2 million, relying on an organization’s stage, although Nof says that lots of the agency’s institutional LPs wish to co-invest alongside the fund, giving it the flexibility to jot down even bigger checks. (Like most VCs, Tusk Ventures additionally reserves capital to take part in follow-on rounds when it desires.)
Altogether, Tusk Ventures has greater than 20 corporations in its portfolio, together with medical marijuana supply firm Eaze; for family service suppliers, Useful; the fast-growing digital asset dealer Coinbase; and AltSchool, a community of for-profit colleges that’s reportedly shuttering one location in New York and struggling extra broadly to promote its software program to different colleges.
Pictured: Jordan Nof