PROVO, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Peak Ventures today announced it has closed on a $23 million venture capital fund aimed at seed-stage startups in Utah and the Mountain West. The fund will invest initial amounts into early stage companies ranging from $100,000 to $1 million. The fund was raised from accredited international and domestic investors.
Local entrepreneurs Jeff Burningham, Jeff Danley and Jamie Dunn founded the Peak brand in 2007, and have recently launched a venture arm to support the unprecedented growth in Utah tech innovation. The partners were named this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in the Mountain West region. Preceding the fund, Peak was an active local investor, funding nearly 20 Utah tech companies. Upon raising the fund, Peak lured local entrepreneur and investor Sid Krommenhoek away from Chegg International (CHGG) to co-manage Peak Ventures with Jeff Burningham.
“There is a real need for new capital sources to fund the brightest entrepreneurs in Utah,” Burningham said. “We plan to meet that need by focusing on the entrepreneur. In the early days of your startup, it’s about gaining every possible advantage and executing. In essence, we’ve assembled the type of venture firm that we wished would have existed when we were raising capital for our startups.”
Burningham and Krommenhoek each have founded and built local startups that were later sold to now publicly listed companies. Burningham founded MindWire, which sold to a NASDAQ listed company, and then founded Peak Capital Partners, a real estate private equity arm of Peak, with an asset portfolio valued at $800 million. Krommenhoek most recently founded edtech startup Zinch, which was acquired by Chegg. He then led Chegg’s international business unit until shortly after its initial public offering.
“Having built companies in Utah, we place huge value on having local investors who understand firsthand the needs of a startup,” Krommenhoek said. “The past decade of tech growth in Utah has created a savvy group of entrepreneurs who aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They’re following strong exits from previous wins with even more ambitious startups, raising unprecedented rounds of financing and seeking talented team members who can perform at a very high level. That’s where Peak Ventures will play.”
Utah recently ranked No. 4 in the 10 Top States for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, scoring higher than Massachusetts, Texas and Washington, according to Entrepreneur.com. Burningham added that Peak Ventures meets the needs of underserved markets not only in Utah, but also throughout the Mountain West, including Las Vegas, Boise, Phoenix and Albuquerque.
Peak Ventures Fund 1 already has invested in seven companies. Recent investments include: Grasswire, a real time newsroom curated by social media outlets and fact checked by viewers; and Owlet, developer of a wearable “smart sock” for a baby’s foot that tracks movement and measures information like heart rate, oxygen levels and body temperature.
Peak Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Peak Capital Partners, is an early-stage investment firm. Peak Ventures invests in talented entrepreneurs with exceptional technologies. To date, Peak Ventures has invested in more than businesses to serve a growing real estate portfolio and support emerging entrepreneurs throughout the state of Utah. Visit www.peakventurecapital.com.
About Peak Capital Partners
Peak Capital Partners and its affiliates own and manage conventional, affordable and student apartment communities in growth markets in the United States. Founded in 2007, Peak Capital Partners owns 70 apartment communities in 15 states, housing 12,000 families. Today, the firm has a total asset portfolio valued at $800 million. Visit www.peakcapitalpartners.com.