Announcing Cortado Ventures
New venture capital fund investing in Oklahoma startups
Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF)
Cortado Ventures is a new venture capital fund launching this week—founded by serial entrepreneurs, investors, and CEOs—and we back entrepreneurs who are driving innovation in Oklahoma. We see the big picture: we are different-thinking business leaders who will fund next generation companies to create a vibrant, diverse economy. Venture capital is an investment class unfamiliar in Oklahoma, and in places like Silicon Valley has exposed investors to tremendous returns by helping startups launch. Now is the time for venture capital in Oklahoma.
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What Lies Ahead
- Day Zero to a $10 Million Fund
- First Investment: Respond Flow
- Podcast with Stitch Crew
- Front Page Story with the Journal Record
- Why Now? VC in an Uncertain World
- How VC Outperforms All Investment Classes
Day Zero to a $10 Million Fund
This week is “day zero” to a $10 million fund, but already in our first 10 days leading up to our launch, we’ve been overwhelmed with $2 million in commitments. Cortado Ventures believes that there is general investor awareness of generational opportunity ahead, and this early sign of interest attests to that belief. Our Cortado partners have each founded and built businesses in Oklahoma and have invested in companies here. We bring that perspective to our investors and the entrepreneurs with whom we work.
First Investment: Respond Flow
Cortado Ventures brings value to investors by sourcing, investing in, and growing best-in-class tech startups right here in Oklahoma. You might think of it as “shark tank.” We’re pleased to announce our first investment into an early-stage company in Tulsa, Respond Flow. This investment was done in partnership with Atento Capital. Respond Flow grew revenue 257% in the first three months of 2020, and they continue to exceed expectations. Respond Flow makes it easier for companies to use texting to communicate effectively with their customers. Martin Lien, CEO of Respond Flow, described his company’s technology is “built to humanize your marketing.” Lien said, “From day one, Respond Flow has been focused on the needs of businesses and customers, and now more than ever we recognize the importance of keeping in touch.”
Podcast with StitchCrew
Managing Partner, Nathaniel Harding, sat down (over Zoom) with Erika and Chris Lucas of StitchCrew to record a podcast. StitchCrew advises founders and investors and runs the Thunder Launchpad accelerator, hosting founder cohorts in a 12-week program culminating in Demo Day (most recently, today!). Cortado Ventures and StitchCrew discussed the launch, what we look for in startups, and why now is the time for venture capital in Oklahoma.
Front Page Story with the Journal Record
The Journal Record featured Cortado Ventures on the front page Tuesday. The Journal Record is the premiere business paper in Oklahoma, and we were very fortunate to catch their attention. See the front-page image below and log in to read the full article. What caught their attention is that, despite or even because of COVID-19, Cortado sees a generational opportunity to fund homegrown businesses and bring future-ready tech jobs to the state. Recessions are fertile ground for disruption. Right now, there are legion entrepreneurs re-inventing how we live, work, and play, and Cortado Ventures wants to be there, ready to invest.
Why Now? VC in an Uncertain World
Necessity is the mother of invention. It’s no surprise that America’s most transformative companies were founded in the last recession and funded by venture capital. Oklahoma is the 4th least funded region in the country relative to how many startups there are (hundreds). There is a need for early-stage venture capital, there is a supply of disruptive tech entrepreneurs right here in Oklahoma, and the macro-economic environment is ripe for what we do. Our state’s leaders are very interested in seeing new homegrown businesses attract tech jobs, entrepreneurs are re-inventing our world, and investors want in on the action. That’s why Cortado Ventures is launching now.
How VC Outperforms All Investment Classes
Venture capital is the top-performing investment class, according to decades of data studied by Cambridge Associates and Pitchbook. It is uncorrelated to public markets and offers a distinctly different risk/return profile.
That’s it for our launch series. We’ll send monthly updates about our progress, entrepreneurship, startups, the local economy, and tech in Oklahoma. Stay in touch with us through social media, or pitch us your idea.