As a follow up to my column last week about how firms have expanded their footprint amid a pandemic, I spoke with Kira Noodleman, principal at San Francisco-based seed-stage investor Bee Partners.
Noodleman, a long-time San Francisco Bay Area resident and a Venture Capital Journal rising star in January 2020, has relocated to Denver to help broaden the firm’s reach in such places as Atlanta, Toronto and Memphis. The firm raised $43 million for its third fund in 2019 and invests in six to eight companies a year.
Noodleman, who grew up in Saratoga, California, went to Denver last summer to visit with friends. She liked it there and recognized it brings her closer to the firm’s start-ups elsewhere in the country, including one company she said she’s hoping becomes part of the Bee Partners portfolio and which has relocated its headquarters to Atlanta. She pitched the idea of relocating to Denver and it stuck.
“There are real opportunities here, and now I’m that much closer to tech communities in Utah, Denver, Austin and the rest of the country,” Noodleman told me.
There are many reasons why the diaspora of investors, tech entrepreneurs and corporations are moving to Seattle, Austin, Miami and other places outside of Silicon Valley. As we previously reported, taxes play a part, as do quality of life factors. And as the pandemic has proven, VC itself has become disrupted as investors have discovered they can conduct their business remotely anywhere and without much face-to-face activity.
Noodleman, who’s in her mid-30s, offered up another excuse. She told me that she represents the new guard of VC, which she describes as female, diverse, eager to access new ecosystems and geographies and having an interest in looking at new technologies and innovations previously under-developed.
“I wasn’t planning on moving, but I’m glad I did,” she said. “2021 has so far been a big and active year for us.”
Tell me what you think. What changes are you noticing in the venture community, new guard versus old? You can drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.