Trust Ventures collects $35 mln for debut fund

Trust Ventures has raised $35 million for its inaugural fund. Trust Ventures Fund I will invest in startups “facing public policy barriers.”



Trust Ventures, an Austin-based venture capital firm, has raised an initial $35 million to invest in and support innovative startups facing public policy barriers. Trust Ventures Fund I will pursue investments across transportation, energy, finance, insurance, healthcare and other industries where barriers to innovation stand in the way of companies working to revolutionize the status quo.

Trust Ventures is led by Salen Churi and Brian Tochman. Churi, a former law professor and founder of the Innovation Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, has worked to help startups succeed in the face of significant opposition by local regulators. He previously practiced law at Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin, two leading international law firms. While at the Institute for Justice, Churi helped successfully advocate to legalize street vending in Chicago.

Tochman was the co-founder and president and COO of Kasita, which produces technologically-advanced modular homes and apartments. He also served as vice president of mergers and acquisitions for Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills, CA based private equity fund rated by Pitchbook and Dow Jones as one of the highest-performing PE funds in the world.

“Innovative startup companies can transform the lives of consumers, reshape or create entire industries, advance economic opportunities and produce sizable returns for investors,” said Churi. “However, many of these companies now find their path to market blocked by public policy barriers that, while once well-intentioned, today hinder creative solutions for some of our biggest problems.”

“Working with Trust Ventures helps disruptive startups find their footing in industries dominated by entrenched incumbents who can bend the rules to protect their businesses,” said Tochman. “We’re about working to change the rules to unlock economic opportunities for investors and deliver value to consumers.”

The fund’s backers include Koch Disruptive Technologies, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc. The Public Affairs Division of Koch Companies Public Sector (KCPS) will serve in a consulting role to Trust Ventures and its portfolio companies. Working with Koch gives Trust Ventures the scale and level of expertise of a very large firm, while maintaining the benefits of a small and nimble team.

About Trust Ventures
Trust Ventures invests in startups that can change the world. It was founded with a commitment to help young companies compete on an equal footing with established competitors whose legions of lobbyists are fighting to preserve the status quo. Trust Ventures offers a proven model for helping startups succeed in forward-thinking industries. For more information, visit