A nerdy dude in a hoodie is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the tech world, but, as many have pointed out, tech geniuses and entrepreneurs can come from different backgrounds. For Moonshots Capital, that includes the military.
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Founded by military veterans and serial entrepreneurs Kelly Perdew and Craig Cummings, the LA and Austin-based venture capital firm has closed $20 million1 for its inaugural seed-stage fund. Perdew and Cummings met as entrepreneurs and angel investors in the early 2000s. The duo launched Moonshots Capital in 2014 as an angel syndicate. In October 2017 they closed their first bit of capital for their full-fledged venture capital fund. Now, it’s closed.
Drawing on their entrepreneurial and military experience, the two are interested in funding founders with specific leadership skills.
“The only place in the world we know of where literally millions of dollars are spent training people explicitly in leadership is the military,” Perdew told Crunchbase News.
With that, Perdew said that 70 percent of the funds that the two have deployed through their angel investments, through the Moonshot Capital angel syndicate, and with the new fund thus far has gone to startups founded by military veterans. That remaining 30 percent, Perdew said, has gone to founders which they believe show the leadership and planning characteristics common among founders on those other teams.
For its first fund, the firm plans to write checks in a sweet spot of $500,000 to $800,000. So far, the company has invested in cyber defense startups New Knowledge and Threatcare, business travel tool Shep, digital content startup Catalog.
“Our focus is on late-seed [startups with] product-in-market, some revenue generated, and some investment already occurred where Craig and I can really roll up our sleeves as operators and help them grow,” Perdew explained.
To that end, the company makes aims to maintain their target ownership with follow-on investments in promising teams and says that the military connection has helped them maintain those relationships even with highly competitive bids from other VCs in later investments.
“We attribute that ability to be competitive, even with larger firms, with better terms to that trust that ensues once we engage with a military veteran,” Perdew explained. “The speed of trust is incredibly fast.”
Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias
Update: Moonshots informed Crunchbase News this morning that the fund officially reached $20 million. At the time of initial publishing, the fund had closed $19 million.↩