Tandem Ventures Announces First Close of Debut $30 Million Fund
Today Tandem Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Draper, Utah primarily investing in Utah-based technology companies, announced a $20 million first close of its debut $30 million early-stage venture fund.
Tandem invests at the pre-seed, seed and series A stages. It is industry-agnostic and puts a big emphasis on the founding team, says Dunn. "It's all about the team," said Dunn.
Over the last 15 months, Tandem has invested $30M via Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and plans to continue to leverage SPVs to invest in later-stage companies alongside this early-stage fund.
Founded in May 2022 by Managing Partners Alex Bean and Mckay Dunn, Tandem Ventures quickly added Partners Jimmer Fredette and Zac Kerr.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be active in supporting the next generation of founders,” said Alex Bean, Managing Partner at Tandem. “This fund offers another place for startups to get capitalized in a world where cash is increasingly harder to come by.”
Bean, co-founder of Divvy (acquired by Bill.com in 2021 for $2.6 billion), brings operational expertise and first-hand knowledge of the intricacies of building a billion-dollar business. Bean is the only General Partner in Utah that has founded a tech unicorn.
Dunn brings traditional VC and asset management experience from previous roles as a partner at another Utah-based VC firm and as an investment professional at a Connecticut-based asset management firm with over $40 billion in assets under management (AUM).
Fredette, who is best known for his prolific basketball career, has deep ties in the Utah community and has been actively involved in growing Utah ever since his time at BYU.
“Ever since my time at BYU, I’ve loved Utah,” said Fredette. “Since joining Tandem, I’ve been able to reconnect with entrepreneurs here, and I’m incredibly bullish on what is going to be coming out of Utah in the next decade.”
Kerr is a co-founder of Utah-based SalesRabbit and a successful operator and investor in the Utah ecosystem. Kerr has been an active angel investor with an incredible track record, including making early investments into Nursa, Noke, Pestie, and Company Cam.
“While Tandem was recently organized, none of us are new to Utah’s venture, tech, and business community,” said Kerr. “Tandem is an extension of what we have been doing for years.”
"Zac is probably one of the best angel investors in Utah I know of with an incredible Angel track record," said Dunn about Zac Kerr. "He's an operator's operator. The questions he can ask in a due diligence meeting are off the charts."
What sets Tandem Ventures apart is its unique partnership with some of Utah’s most successful founders, which Tandem calls the “Stable.” This partner group is composed of Unicorn founders (built billion-dollar businesses) and Centaur founders (built $100m+ businesses), and aims to share their expertise with the next generation of founders to foster growth in Utah’s tech sector.
“Since moving to Utah nearly a decade ago, I’ve been privileged to be a part of the Utah tech scene and have been able to witness the incredible growth of the community,” said Dunn. “Between Utah’s top-tier start-up ecosystem and our unique relationship with Utah’s best founders, we are finding and funding the next generation of successful entrepreneurs.”
Dunn continued, "Ten of the ten Utah unicorn tech founders have backed us. That's a big part of our strategy, having those entrepreneurs on board who've actually done it—backing us, mentoring our portfolio companies, sending us deal flow, all that kind of stuff. Having these kinds of backers is powerful. These founders who've had successful exits really want to give back to the next generation, the next wave of founders; we're their avenue to do that. That's how Utah becomes the next great tech ecosystem—having exits, those exited founders helping the next wave of entrepreneurs, and continuing that cycle over and over—creating a flywheel effect."
Tandem Ventures and its Stable of partners are committed to enabling the innovation economy of Utah, fostering growth, and making a lasting impact in Utah's tech landscape.
For more information about Tandem, contact Camden Bean, VP of Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org.