An emerging venture firm in Texas is aiming to invest in diverse founders and utilize its external partnerships and strategic LPs to provide value-add resources to early-stage companies.
Austin-based TXV Partners, which was founded in 2018, and formally launched in 2019, is targeting more than $50 million for its debut vehicle to invest in seed through Series A deals. Marcus Stroud and Brandon Allen, who met during their undergraduate years at Princeton, founded the firm.
TXV’s focus is on B2B companies that look to make a difference in how people live, work and play which could include things from wearable fitness trackers to enterprise Saas.
Through corporation collaboration and partnerships that are more common at the later venture stages, the firm aims to provide more than just capital to its portfolio companies.
The firm recently announced a partnership with LERMA/, a multicultural marketing organization with acute knowledge on Hispanic and Latino companies and individuals. TXV founding partner Stroud said that this presents an opportunity for the firm and its portfolio companies.
“LERMA/ is one of the largest multicultural Hispanic-led organizations in the country,” Stroud said. “When we think about what we could contribute to the ecosystem in LatAm and in the US, its building the brand and brand identity that can resonate with people from all backgrounds.”
He added that brand development is such an important aspect of scaling and marketing a company, but despite its importance, most start-ups can’t focus on it right away.
“Early-stage companies don’t have the resources for that until the Series B Series C funding,” Stroud said. “By us having LERMA/, given their clients and their resources, it will help our portfolio companies at the Series A and B [level]. It will allow companies to scale much more efficiently than they have before.”
The collaboration also benefits TXV as a firm as well. LERMA/ also serves as a resource to help source potential investment opportunities in the US and Latin America.
“We’ve been looking at Latin America,” Stroud said. “We saw a strategic opportunity to really get a footprint in that market and LERMA/ will allow us to be very strong player in that investment space.”
Stroud added that the firm plans to expand its reach into the market either through opening an office in the LatAm region, or in Southeast US, and has already found potential hires to help with that goal.
TXV founding partner Allen added that beyond helping the firm expand into the region, LERMA/ also provides a similar resource for the firm’s underlying portfolio companies who may want to branch out into the region as well.
Regardless, Allen said that the partnership also helps to boost the firm’s diversity efforts, which are a core pillar at TXV Partners.
“LERMA/, it’s going to be an immense resource for our portfolio companies,” Allen said. “When I think about this partnership, I think about how we are tangibly advocating for diversity. Diversity is all about representation how many people sit at a given table.”
The firm hopes that its base of strategic LPs, including athletes and professional sports team, will further help the firm be a well-connected resource to its portfolio companies as they grow.
TXV participated in a $4 million seed round in Kambr last year. The company operates a platform to help airlines optimize performance. Kambr also grabbed funding from GGV Capital, Founder Collective and Studio VC, among others.
The GP has also invested in Future.Fit, a platform that pairs individuals with professional fitness trainers, and NameCoach, a name pronunciation software to better foster inclusion in the workplace.
The firm will continue to raise and deploy capital and Stroud said there will be more exciting partnership announcements to look out for in the coming months.
“How can we create a thriving ecosystem in which things combine and collaborate in a way that allows all of us to grow?” Allen said. “It’s reflective of that belief the largest independent marketing firm is going to benefit a venture fund and a company.”