A pair of Raleigh entrepreneurs with exits and angel investments under their belts have partnered up to launch a fund they hope will be disruptive to venture capital.
They’re calling it Full Tilt, and that’s already their posture. Since finalizing plans for the fund August 1, they’ve got seven term sheets out and a $100,000 commitment to Trakex, the brainchild of a pair of NC State University students. They hope to close the $10 million fund in September.
The men behind the VC startup are Anthony Pompliano, who sold a pair of local startups and then moved to California to work for Facebook in 2013, and Jason Williams, who founded FastMed Urgent Care, built it to nearly 90 facilities in three states and then sold it last year to a private equity firm.
But it’ll be a bit more targeted toward Pompliano and Williams’ areas of expertise—healthcare, software, energy and consumer products or services.
It’s a good match, says Williams, who was working with friends in Charlotte to start a fund before he met Pompliano. He already had interested investors, and Pompliano brought nearly 100 compelling and investible companies to the table. A third partner, Chris Hare, was a head of industry collaboration at Sony Ericsson and comes with a strong background in intellectual property and mergers & acquisitions.
“I think it’s pretty disruptive,” Williams says. “The space that we’ve decided to go into hasn’t been democratized or professionalized—it’s been a ‘rich uncle’ space.”
It’s been a big year for venture capital fundraising nationally. According to the National Venture Capital Association, venture capital firms raised the most money in the first quarter of 2016 in nearly a decade. Though dollars raised dropped to a more normal level in the second quarter, it’s still shaping up to be a strong year for fundraising. 32 new funds were created during the first half of the year nationally.
Full Tilt doesn’t seem to be having much trouble. Pompliano says he’s getting the attention of Silicon Valley investors and founders. Local investors are in the fund too.
“It’s a new day. It’s interesting and unique for the East Coast,” says Williams. “And I think we’ll get in really early on some deals.”