(Photo by Flickr user 401(K) 2012, used under a Creative Commons license)
Multimedia financial services company The Motley Fool launched its first outside venture fund and has raised $145 million, exceeding its initial goal of $100 million, the company told Technical.ly.
The early stage, tech-focused venture capital fund called Motley Fool Ventures is run by managing director Ollen Douglass and the $145 million was raised in less than seven months from 800 limited partners (LPs) living in 44 states and Washington, D.C., according to the company. Douglass stepped down from his role as chief financial officer at the firm in February, the Washington Business Journal reported.
The firm said it was able to raise such a large amount in its debut fund in such a short time from so many limited partners because it has spent the last 25 years building a community of individual investors who trust them and have made a lot of money relying on the Fool’s investing guidance.
“We aim to build a venture capital community. Within our 800 LPs are industry experts, entrepreneurs, and seasoned investors,” Alison Southwick, head of PR/media relations efforts at The Motley Fool told Technical.ly. “While the final investing decisions will be made by the general partners, we aim to create a community of LPs that will share their ideas and expertise, inform the fund’s investing decisions, and serve as valuable counsel for the companies in which we choose to invest.”
The Motley Fool was founded in 1993 by by co-chairmen and brothers David and Tom Gardner and this new fund is the latest a series of new products and services offered by the company. Between 2009 and 2011, the firm launched several mutual funds but this new fund is another step in the company’s efforts to grow into a multifaceted financial services company.
“The Motley Fool was founded 25 years ago on the principle of leveling the playing field on Wall Street. Most of our LPs have never had an opportunity to invest in venture capital before. We have LPs from 44 states plus DC and almost 200 are women. If this Forbes article is to be believed, Motley Fool Ventures is now also the largest debut fund led by an African American,” Southwick said.
The venture fund will go toward early stage companies who fall into seed to series B with between $500K and $5M of annualized revenue, the fund’s site reads.-30-
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