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Kellan Carter and Cameron Borumand, two former general partners at Ignition Partners, started their own venture capital firm, Fuse Venture Partners, on Tuesday to invest in Seattle-based, seed and Series A software startups.
The company’s first fund is expected to spend $100 million over the next three or four years, Borumand said.
Carter and Borumand discussed their new venture with Crunchbase News:
Why are you launching now?
Carter: “We are so fortunate to grow up at Ignition and learn from folks who have built some great companies. When Ignition started raising its sixth fund, Cam and I saw a unique opportunity to double down and raise a fund of our own.”
For most outside Seattle, the city is known for technology and big players within the industry. However, your take on the startup scene is different. Can you explain your perspective?
Carter: “Seattle has the most exciting enterprise software ecosystem in the world, and two of its most important companies–Microsoft and Amazon–and that means it is a magnet for global talent to move here and start careers. We want to be on the flywheel of budding companies that will be starting here and that are already in their early stages.”
You talk about finding the “next generation of software companies.” What areas are you interested in exploring, and what areas haven’t been explored yet?
Borumand: “We want to partner with early-stage companies with the theme of software that reinvents the modern economy that want to help companies that do more with less. Software will be the key enabler for that. Especially over the next five years, there will be a lot of machine learning and artificial intelligence providing business value. We are looking at what is the qualitative and quantitative data that can be gathered over the next couple of years.”
Carter: “We are looking at every industry and vertical reimagining the modern economy. Who is creating the new plethora of digitally exhaustive software and data that will be part of the future industry transformation.”
What are the next steps for the firm?
Carter: “Now that we are open for business, we are at a unique inflection point where we can start backing preeminent entrepreneurs. We met companies before the global pandemic that were looking to raise funds, so relationships have already been built and are now dependent on the demand of the company.”
What are some of the lessons you learned as you were starting up Fuse Venture Partners?
Borumand: “Early on, we codified relationships with the limited partner network and intentionally surrounded ourselves with people from world-leading companies, such as current and former executives at Microsoft, Amazon, Nike, Starbucks and Costco.”
Carter: “Starting a company is challenging, but it is a noble thing to be able to scale and grow to be a successful company. We added two operating partners, John and Satbir, to help the fund portion scale, and lastly, our venture partner is unique, Bobby Wagner, who you will know as the Seahawks’ linebacker who famously negotiated his own contract last year, and who is an active investor. We are super honored to have him join us and build a firm. We couldn’t be more excited to open for business.”
Photo courtesy of Fuse Venture Partners
Illustration: Dom Guzman