On July 26, 2006, I wrote an email to my wife with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish before I turned 45 years old. Over the years I have frequently revisited these goals to keep them top of mind and to gauge my progression toward achieving them. The most intriguing thing to me now about reviewing these goals was not the goals themselves, but the timeframes in which I said I would achieve them. I said I would go back to school for an MBA in 2007. That didn’t happen until 2012. I said I would get a job at a VC firm in 2009. That didn’t happen until 2014. The last major goal I wrote down was to start my own venture capital firm by 2015. This last one took a while longer.
Finally, in 2023 (8 years later than I planned), I am proud to announce the founding and launch of Serac Ventures. Serac Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm that invests in diverse management teams in fintech, commerce enablement, and future of work technologies.
The venture capital industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. There’s a never-ending pursuit of the best entrepreneurs by VCs and a never-ending pursuit of the best VCs by entrepreneurs. In light of this, a few years ago I asked myself what else could top VC firms do to give themselves a marginal advantage over their peers. If all the top firms mostly invest in the same technology verticals and often in the same companies, there must possibly be something else they could do to stand out. I concluded that one of the best ways VCs could give themselves a marginal advantage over their peers is to be more deliberate about investing in diverse management teams.
I like to think of the competitive nature of the VC industry like the 100-meter dash in the Olympics. When Usain bolt won the gold in 2016 for the 100-meter sprint his time was 9.81 seconds. The eighth-place finisher came in at 10.06 seconds, a difference of just 0.25 seconds. This may seem like a marginal difference, but in the world of track-and-field this is an enormous advantage. Similarly, we believe that targeting diverse leadership teams in high-growth technology sectors gives us a marginal advantage and provides us with access to founders and markets that have traditionally been overlooked by the VC industry.
We are equally excited about our target investment categories — Fintech, Commerce Enablement, and Future of Work.
· We expect the need for financial tools and services that provide better usability, transparency, and broader customer access, to continue to grow.
· Online commerce continues to expand at double digit rates highlighting the need for technology solutions that can keep pace.
· There’s been a paradigm shift in how people work, driving the need for better productivity and collaboration tools.
I wrote down my goals 17 years ago not knowing how they were going to happen, only that I wanted them to happen. At that time, the thought never crossed my mind that the path to achieving my goals would be anything but linear or that it would take longer than I originally planned. What I have learned is that if you work hard enough anything is possible, but the path to getting there isn’t always linear.
I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to build Serac Ventures. I know the journey won’t be easy, but as I’ve learned in the past, most things worth doing never are. I’ve also learned that when you have to work a lot harder (and a lot longer) to get what you want, you tend to appreciate it more.
As I embark on this next chapter of my career, I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me get here.
It’s time to get to work.
P.S. If you’re a founder and you’d like to get in touch with us, please contact us here.