Today we are excited to announce the closing of Matchstick Ventures Fund II. It is a $30 million fund supporting early-stage software companies in rapidly growing, yet underserved startup ecosystems. For us, this includes the North, the Rockies, and companies across the Techstars ecosystem. We are incredibly humbled that Foundry Group continues to support us (see blog post) alongside local institutions, family offices and many of the most successful entrepreneurs we know.
With our $5M Fund I, we hit on a winning formula. Our strategy was and remains “helping startups strike” by investing throughout the seed phase. With Fund II, we’ll write first checks around $500,000 and selectively follow on with investments of $1 to $2 million. We are willing to lead, co-lead or be the local friendly player in rounds.
But more important than the capital, we build deep relationships with founders who trust us for support, feedback and even the occasional push. We celebrate and commiserate together. Our founders are our family. We worked relentlessly for our founders and deeply care about their wellbeing.
This fund is the culmination of over 10 years of being operators ourselves, startup community groundwork, founder support, and investor relation development.
Before we were funders, we were founders. Natty co-founded Everlater, a blogging platform that radically simplified sharing travel experiences, and guided it from Techstars to an AOL acquisition in 2012. Ryan had two successful exits, including the student publication service University Guide straight out of college at the University of Minnesota.
These achievements taught us that startup success comes from strong startup communities, so we dedicated our next chapter to building them. Ryan co-founded Beta.MN and Twin Cities Startup Week, and Natty was a catalyst across the Boulder and Denver startup scenes. We both sought to mentor others as much as we could.
This interest in building communities that build better businesses led us to Techstars. Ryan ran three Techstars Retail programs in Minneapolis and is now a Techstars Venture Partner. Natty is leading his sixth Techstars Boulder accelerator, and counting.
Yet we found ourselves seeking to deepen our impact, further strengthen our communities and deliver our portfolio companies better resources. So we decided to join forces. Natty came on as a partner at Matchstick in 2018. Between us, we have made over 100 investments including Inspectorio, Branch, ScaleFactor, AdHawk, and Upsie. Fund II is the next step in this vision.
Supporting ambitious, yet humble founders is kind of our thing. We focus on building authentic, collaborative relationships with the founders we work with. Most of the startups we fund are referrals from other founders or leaders within our local networks. Our combined 20 years in entrepreneurship have taught us trust and powerful networks are the best foundation for success.
We are embedded in the North and the Rockies and use our distributed partnership to our advantage, working with coastal funds for continued investment in our portfolio. We’ve worked with great co-investors like Foundry Group, Upfront Ventures, Bessemer, and Thrive Capital, to name a few.
We’ve already made 10 investments from this new fund (check out our Portfolio) and we plan to do a total of 30. We’ll be announcing some new investments in the coming weeks.
It has taken us 10 years to build the track record, credibility and community trust to raise this fund, but this is just the beginning. We are committed to our founders, our investors, and our startup communities for many, many more.
Ryan & Natty
Want to comment on this or connect with us online? Reply to our fund announcement on Twitter or ping us directly on Twitter (@rbroshar, @NattyZ and @MatchstickVC) or on LinkedIn (Natty Zola, Ryan Broshar).