May 25, 2022

Sorenson Ventures may not be a household name, but the Lehigh, Utah-based company has quietly backed 30 startups since 2017, when it launched its first $100 million fund, some through acquisitions and some through acquisitions. Thanks to its attractive game evaluation. The company today announced that it has raised a second fund of about $150 million.

Rob Rueckert, the company’s co-founder and partner, said he and co-founder Ken Elefant had over 15 years of investing experience when they founded the company five years ago. Rueckert came from Intel Capital and Slon worked for Lightspeed Venture Partners and Battery Ventures. Both focused on B2B companies, and Rueckert sees this experience as a key differentiator for his business.

The company is looking into early-stage startups and is trying to write small checks in the $3 million to $5 million range. Rueckert said this is unusual for a company of this size.

“It’s a $150 million fund, the last one was over $100 million. This is unique to a Series A-focused seed and investment fund, simply because the historically truly great funds at this stage are now multi-billion dollar funds,” he said.

He also pointed out that for large funds that typically write very large checks, the math is calculated when it comes to checks within their company. In addition, he said his company is taking a more hands-on approach to startups. “It takes a lot of hard work to get a business out of pre-sales or initial profits and into the real world, and we accept that work,” he said.

“That’s why we’re doing the old-fashioned ‘roll up our sleeves’ business with the company, helping them find their first customers, helping them go to market, and finding a product that fits the market,” he added.

Rueckert acknowledges that this approach requires a lot of effort, but it makes sense for a fund of this kind. “Hard work only makes sense if it’s a physical part of your foundation. Therefore, we have deliberately tried to maintain the target size of the fund where such investments are important to us.”

This approach works: six exits from the first fund, including Bridgecrew, which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $156 million; CloudKnox acquired by Microsoft; and OpenPath, which was acquired by Motorola. All three releases took place last year.

Other portfolio companies include Soccer, an identity verification firm that raised $450 million in November at an impressive $4.5 billion valuation, and Psychognito, an attack surface management startup that raised $800 million late last year. ,

Although the new fund is being publicly announced today, they actually launched it last year and have already started investing in the startup’s second round. The company is a division of Sorenson Capital that invests in late-stage companies.

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