Think Philly doesn’t have serious funding sources for startup companies? Think again.
MissionOG has closed its first fund and has now has a cool $35 million under management. The Center City-based company typically invests $500,000 to $3 million initially into business-to-business startups.
It’s invested in 11 companies so far, including Philly-based Cloudamize, OneTwoSee and PeopleLinx. Some recent investments include joining a $3.25 million round for Dallas-based Solovis in January; and leading a $3.4 million series A round with Conshohocken, Pa.-based Journey Sales.
Now that the fund has closed, MissionOG plans to invest in three to four more companies by the end of the year. Will those companies be Philly based? That remains to be seen, but it’s worth noting that out of the 11 companies in its portfolio, five are from Philly — more than any other city.
“I’m a big believer that you have to win at home before you win elsewhere,” said Managing Partner George Krautzel. “I’m from Philadelphia. Our office is at 17th and Market. For us, it’s important to help build this ecosystem locally — but not at the cost of creating great returns for our investors.”
Many in the MissionOG leadership have run successful startups themselves before becoming investors, giving them a clear understanding of what startups go through as they try to grow.
“We’re operators at heart and bring that lens to investing. That allows us to really help fast-forward these companies and be true financial partners,” said Krautzel. He went on to say: “Being an entrepreneur, growing and scaling companies and having a successful exists allows us to really understand who’s on the other side of the table and helps us build credibility with them pretty quickly.”
Contrary to the stereotype of budding tech hubs like Philly, Krautzel says there are plenty of places for startups to seek investment dollars.
“Right now, there are a lot of places to go for investment — angels, accelerators, private equity companies,” he said. “There are a lot of different channels out there and a lot of opportunities for companies showing traction to go seek investment.”
Unlike some other venture capitalists, MissionOG invests in already running businesses, long after they’re an idea and and dream.
“Our money comes in as an accelerator, not to help them figure out if they have a company or not,” said MissionOG Managing Partner George Krautzel.
Venture capital has become mainstream with the popularity of TV shows like Shark Tank — but Krautzel warns that deals don’t happen that fast in reality.
“People watch Shark Tank and think that’s what investing is,” he said. “That’s not really how it is. It’s getting to know a team over time, introducing them to talent or business opportunities and seeing first-hand how they evolve. We’re not making snap judgements.”
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