About Troy Capital Partners
Troy Capital Partners is a venture and strategic opportunities fund investing in emerging companies primarily in Southern California, co-investing with top venture capital firms, and investing in later stage opportunities presented exclusively to TCP from its network and investor base.
Latest Troy Capital Partners News
Jun 24, 2023
Twitter icon Twitter Copy Link The 22 Fund; MaC VC; 75 & Sunny; Marcy Venture Partners; Insider This story is available exclusively to Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. To identify the top up-and-coming VCs in LA, Insider surveyed more than 75 local investors. Thousands of young investors and founders from around the world descended on Los Angeles this month for LA Tech Week for a packed schedule of mansion parties, pitch competitions, and panels. The area is home to some of the most valuable and important tech companies on the planet, such as Snap and SpaceX, and Netflix, Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Meta have all greatly expanded their Southern California presence in recent years . Nearly 4,000 venture-backed startups hoping to be the next household-name company called LA home in 2022, according to Telstra Ventures . VCs closed 1,311 deals in LA worth $23 billion in 2022, trailing only the Bay Area and New York, according to PitchBook. The area is now home, for at least part of the year, to famous VCs like Marc Andreessen and Peter Thiel . Marquee firms like Andreessen Horowitz have opened offices in Santa Monica. Earlier this year, Insider highlighted the 32 most important VCs in Los Angeles , but venture capital is also a young person's game where no one can rest on their laurels. That's why we're now highlighting the next wave of VCs in Los Angeles, people who are making a name for themselves as savvy investors early in their careers. To identify the top up-and-coming VCs in LA, Insider surveyed more than 75 local investors and sought input from its editorial team. VCs are increasingly nomadic, but to be considered for this list they had to spend most of their time in LA. Correction: June 22, 2023 — An earlier version of this story included David Yi of Energize Ventures. He has since been removed from this list. Boyoung Kim, Griffin Gaming Partners Boyoung Kim, Griffin Gaming Partners Courtesy of Boyoung Kim Notable investments: Nexus, BlackStorm What kind of startups she invests in: Gaming startups at all stages from pre-seed to pre-IPO, with check sizes up to $15 million for early-stage and $50 million for late-stage founders. Why she's on the list: Kim grew up in South Korea and cut her teeth on Wall Street as an equity-research analyst for Bloomberg and Citi. As an avid gamer, she made the leap to the Santa Monica-based Griffin Gaming Partners last year, which has more than a billion dollars in gaming-related startups under management. Kim helped lead and source Griffin's first investment in South Korea in Black Storm, a MMOARPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game. "It is incredibly exciting to support industry veterans that shaped part of the culture on their journey of taking their upcoming game to the global stage," Kim said. Alaina Hartley, Greycroft Notable investments: Anine Bing, Arey Grey, Ami Cole What kind of startups she invests in: Hartley leads Greycroft's consumer-product category, which covers everything from beauty and personal care to food and beverage to pet care and home goods. Hartley says she looks for products that capitalize on secular paradigm shifts rather than short-term trends. Why she's on the list: Consumer products often get short shrift in the VC world, where the predictable cash flows of an enterprise SaaS business can be more attractive than chasing the whims of a fickle consumer market. Hartley knows that developing a deep understanding of consumer behavior and backing the right products can be just as lucrative if done correctly. "We kind of joke internally that a great beauty business can look a lot like a SaaS business," she said, "because the loyalty is so strong that the repeat rate is pretty predictable." Hartley's VC colleagues have praised her ability to spot and understand big consumer trends and her skill in working with founders to quickly scale in difficult markets. Ben Marcus and Cyrus Sigari, Up.Partners Ben Marcus and Cyrus Sigari, Up.Partners Up.Partners Notable investments: Telio, Kolors, Beta Technologies, Axiom Space What kind of startups they invest in: Sigari and Marcus focus on investing in the future of mobility — everything from drone delivery and personal aviation to autonomous vehicles and commercial space exploration. Initially born out of an obsession with flying, Up.Partners' mission is to "help move people and goods cleaner, faster, safer, at lower cost on the ground, air, sea, and in space." Why they're on the list: Marcus and Sigari have been obsessed with aviation since they started flying planes together at age 11. By 18, they were cutting class to teach flight lessons at Santa Monica Airport. "Our teachers thought that was more interesting than learning about art history or whatever," said Sigari. They went to the same college (to study — what else? — aerospace engineering), started their careers at the same aviation company, left to found a business-jet company together, and eventually worked together to start the Up.Summit, a mobility conference. Today Up.Partners has backed a range of startups, from drone delivery to space exploration. From the fund's own investments in transformative startups to their partnership with Porsche and their venture studio Up.Labs, Marcus and Sigari are building off Los Angeles' long history as a center of aviation and transportation and helping to change the way people move. Charlie Hanna, Marcy Venture Partners Charlie Hanna, Marcy Venture Partners Courtesy of Charlie Hanna Notable investments: Savage X Fenty, StockX, Avaline, Therabody What kind of startups he invests in: Marcy Venture Partners, cofounded by Jay-Z, focuses on early-stage consumer brands with an emphasis on positive impact. Hanna tends to write checks between $5 million and 15 million investing in Series A and B consumer companies with at least $10 million in annual revenue that are growing between 50% and 100% per a year. He looks for companies that have a strong brand appeal with younger demographics and some element of positive impact across accessibility, inclusivity, or health and wellness. More than 70% of Marcy's founders are women or people of color. Why he's on the list: Hanna originally cut his teeth at William Morris Endeavor, one of Hollywood's "big three" talent agencies where he oversaw brand partnerships, leveraging the agency's roster of A-list stars to build high-impact commercial campaigns. "It really does help to have an understanding around working with people as brands to take these companies to the next level," Hanna said. Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, Mantis VC Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, Mantis VC Mantis VC Notable investments: Jeeves, NexHealth, Stability AI, Coinbase What kind of startups they invest in: Despite being most well-known for starting the hit electronic-music group The Chainsmokers, Pall and Taggart say they tend to shy away from consumer-facing business in favor of less sexy infrastructure plays in areas like machine learning, cybersecurity, and healthtech. They focus on seed-stage investing and, so far, are not in the business of leading funding rounds, instead choosing to learn by investing alongside seasoned VC veterans. "We want to be the sixth man on the championship team versus a starter on the losing team," said Pall. Why they're on the list: According to Pall, they built their band like a venture-backed startup: by using tools like growth hacking and crowdsourcing and being early adapters to the streaming revolution. In the process, they've built a formidable venture fund that is much more than just a celebrity side project. "We know we aren't the typical fund," said Pall, "which we believe necessitates us to operate at an even higher level of work." Elana Dickman, Red Beard Ventures Elana Dickman, Red Beard Ventures Courtesy of Elana Dickman Notable investments: LayerZero, Immersve, Zero Tech What kind of startups she invests in: Web3 pre-seed to series A startups using blockchain for consumer applications, infrastructure, gaming, the metaverse, and decentralized finance. Check sizes range from $100,000 to $1 million with an average check size of $500,000. Why she's on the list: Dickman started her career working as a consultant at KPMG and Deloitte before joining Red Beard last year to invest in Web3 and crypto startups. She's also an advocate for making women financially independent through her @tradingfemale Twitter and Instagram accounts and her podcast, "The Girls Table." Eric Pakravan, TenOneTen Ventures Notable investments: Selfbook, Walla, Candid Wholesale What kind of startups he invests in: As a lifelong Angleno and techie, Pakravan is trying to push back against the notion that LA is just for consumer-facing or media companies and he focuses on investing in enterprise software for small and medium-sized businesses. He likes to invest in companies where the buyer is the user and at least one member of the founding team has experience managing a large engineering team. Why he's on the list: In addition to being an investor and partner to the founders he works with, Pakravan is also committed to helping build up the Los Angeles tech community. While attending the University of Southern California a decade ago, Pakravan founded LavaLab, a student-run tech incubator that he's still heavily involved with. Many of LavaLab's members have gone on to careers in VC at major funds like Greycroft, Wonder, and Day One Ventures. Pakravan continues to help aspiring investors find their footing in the Southern California venture scene and, according to one colleague, is "a force in LA and quickly becoming a VC leader in this ecosystem." Gabriella Brignardello, Fika Ventures Notable investments: Datum, Payabli, Clerq What kind of startups she invests in: In keeping with Fika's focus on early-stage startups, Brignardello invests at the seed and pre-seed stages with a focus on fintech. She's particularly interested in disruptive financial solutions for industries such as construction, supply chain and logistics, and manufacturing. Why she's on the list: Brignardello has always been community-minded, going all the way back to high school when she founded Mi Casa De Angeles, a nonprofit with the mission of improving education in Peru, where her father is from. That experience taught her firsthand how transformative collaboration with the right partner can be. As a native of Los Angeles, Brignardello actively works to make Fika a hub for the Southern California tech community. She regularly hosts events for tech leaders and loves making connections across her network. "We're going to continue to prioritize being a really important connective tissue for the LA community," she said. Her VC colleagues praise her for being highly collaborative and "a complete pleasure to work with." Notable investments: Papaya Global, Resourcely, Dig Security, Tines What kind of startups does he invest in: Pre-seed to Series B, with check sizes ranging from $2 million to $40 million, with a focus on cybersecurity, fintech, and enterprise SaaS. Felicis leads or co-leads about 70% of its investments. Why he's on the list: Storm has experienced every part of the startups life cycle, from pre-seed ideation to going public, whether it was working as a sales associate at the software company Zuora or helping that same company prepare for its IPO when he was an investment banker years later. In just a few short years, he's made a name for himself in the Southern California venture scene, helping nascent ideas get off the ground as an early-stage investor at Felicis. Landon Gyulay, Troy Capital Partners Landon Gyulay, Troy Capital Partners Courtesy of Landon Gyulay Notable investments: Flexport, Carta, Airbnb, Robinhood What kind of startups he invests in: Pre-IPO companies that help their shareholders monetize their equity through Quid, Troy's startup-lending platform. Why he's on the list: Gyulay was inspired to go into venture after watching his brother drop out of Harvard to build a company through Y Combinator. He joined Troy Capital Partners in 2016 when the fund had just $12 million under management. Today, he says, that number is close to $2 billion and Troy has become a fixture of the Los Angeles VC scene. In addition to supporting the fund's blockbuster investments in unicorns like Uber and Airbnb, Gyulay launched Quid, a platform for shareholders in growth-stage startups to borrow against their pre-IPO shares, providing them much-needed liquidity while allowing Troy to share in the upside when the company goes public. Over the years Quid has partnered with companies such as Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, Robinhood, Palantir, and Flexport, among others, and is disrupting the way growth-stage startups monetize their equity. Laura Mason, Invicta Management Courtesy of Laura Mason Notable investments: Ocrolus, MariaDB What kind of startups she invests in: Series A through pre-IPO companies in fintech, data infrastructure, and enterprise intelligence. Why she's on the list: Mason cut her teeth analyzing public equities for a multifamily office in New York. As a member of the founding team at Invicta, she strives to bring that same level of data-driven rigor and analysis to her investment decisions. "Every investment has a ton of noise behind it," said Mason, "They give you tons of data, everyone you know, talks a big game. For me it's really about drilling down to the few things that are really driving a business." Mason strives to develop a deep, intuitive understanding of every business she invests in. "If I can't explain what this business does, I don't have any business investing in it," she said. Qiana Patterson, Nayah Notable investments: Ellevest, Salsify, Syndio What kind of startups she invests in: Nayah brings together an array of people from diverse professional backgrounds and uses a venture-studio model to build high-impact, community-based businesses and uplift underrepresented founders. Patterson's approach to investing aims to create "a world any of us would be happy to be born into at random, regardless of race, class, or gender." Why she's on the list: Patterson doesn't have the typical VC résumé, full of stints at investment banks or private-equity firms. Instead, she started her career as a sixth-grade English and history teacher in Los Angeles. Patterson brings the lessons she learned working with students in the classroom to her work with budding entrepreneurs. "My process of being an educator wasn't sort of coming in saying, 'I know all,'" said Patterson. "In fact, I wanted to learn alongside my students as well, there's always something new to discover, right?" "And the same thing goes for assisting, supporting, and advising founders," she said. She's striving to build a community of impact-oriented founders and investors through both Nayah and her work with the Cap Table Coalition, which raises special-purpose vehicles that help underrepresented investors get a seat at the table in big funding rounds. Solomon Hailu, March Capital March Capital What kind of startups he invests in: Series A to pre-IPO fintech Why he's on the list: After a two-year stint in finance at Lazard, Hailu moved over to the tech industry in 2017 when he joined Tusk Ventures. At Tusk, he invested in Lemonade, Coinbase, Circle, and Bird, all of which have since gone public. Hailu joined March Capital in 2020, where he focuses on investing in Series A to pre-IPO-size companies. He's also a board member at Blck VC, an organization that connects and advances Black investors. Tracy Gray, The 22 Fund Tracy Gray, The 22 Fund Courtesy of Tracy Gray, The 22 Fund Notable investments: Sienna Naturals, Re-Nuble, Repurpose, OpConnect What kind of startups she invests in: Gray invests in manufacturing companies. She tends to focus on companies outside of Silicon Valley that don't necessarily adhere to traditional Series A to E funding-round classifications. Why she's on the list: Gray's approach to venture investing is driven by two major impulses: her extensive experience as a systems engineer and her commitment to fundamentally transforming her industry. She started her career as an engineer working on the space shuttle program and she brings that same level of rigor and analytical thinking to her investing process. In addition to the goal of transforming manufacturing, The 22 Fund is also an impact fund with a second goal of giving underrepresented founders a seat at the table. "Since I got into venture capital, my goal has been to change the way it looks," said Gray, adding that when she started in VC nearly all the founders and investors she encountered were white men. "It didn't make sense to me, an engineer who works on logic and evidence, that we were only investing in what was a shrinking market," Gray said. Wil Chockley, 75 & Sunny Notable investments: Invisible Universe, Guide, Aloft What kind of startups he invests in: Early-stage startups disrupting proptech and the future of work. Why he's on the list: 75 & Sunny, founded by the Zillow cofounder Spencer Rascoff, has quickly made a name for itself among Southern California VC firms. Chockley has developed his own reputation as a capable investor and network builder, well liked by his VC colleagues for his affable nature and helpfulness. A former track star who describes himself as highly competitive, Chockley has helped 75 & Sunny win competitive deals in the proptech and HR-tech spaces. He brings with him valuable investing experience from his time at Bain Capital Ventures as well as operational experience from his time as a consultant at its sister company, Bain & Company. Zhenni Liu, MaC VC Notable investments: Finesse, Dance Church, Prembly, Chewbox, Rares, Ox, Toki, Warp What kinds of startups she invests in: Seed-stage startups across all sectors with check sizes up to $2.5 million, with a focus on retail tech and supply-chain tech. Why she's on the list: Liu has been investing in early-stage companies for more than five years, working her way up from associate to partner at MaC VC, a Los Angeles-based seed-stage firm. Liu's passion is retail, drawing from her previous professional experience working at Sephora, Outdoor Voices, and Athleta. As an immigrant from China, Liu strives to promote founders with diverse backgrounds and experiences. "This direct exposure to the perspectives and aspirations of the next generation of consumers and entrepreneurs enables me to anticipate market demands and provide relevant guidance to founders in meeting the needs of their target audience," Liu says. "Fueling how the next generation lives and works is something I have always considered to be one of the most important values I possess as a VC." Karine Hsu, Slope Notable investments: Eco, Bloom, Settle, MarketerHire What kind of startups she invests in: Hsu invests primarily in B2B SaaS, commerce tech, and fintech startups. Why she's on the list: Hsu founded Slope — a hybrid creative agency and VC fund — to include everything she wished she had when she was a startup founder herself. The company, which has worked with Daily Harvest and Portal, provides startups with brand, digital, and marketing services. Prior to starting Slope in 2019, Hsu cofounded and led And Comfort, a direct-to-consumer startup, and was on the founding team of Verishop, an e-commerce startup, where she led marketing efforts. Hsu is also an active angel investor, investing in software startups including Cabal, Levro, Mozart Data, and MarketerHire. Tyler Churchill, Bonfire Ventures Notable investments: Spekit, Cube Software, Topline Pro, Change Engine, Warp, Trust Page What kind of startups he invests in: Crypto, Web3, vertical cloud, product development and go-to-market tech, and team/collaboration software. Why he's on the list: Churchill has been at Bonfire since 2019, splitting his time between LA and Seattle and earning a promotion to principal in 2021. A University of Chicago Booth School of Business grad, he previously worked at OCA Ventures and has invested in software startups including Change Engine, Warp, and Spekit. Churchill told Insider that the most important quality he looks for in a founder is being confident in product-market fit. "There are going to be dissenters, but that is how you know you are doing something exponential versus incremental, " he said. "The former has the best shot at being the driving force of a generational business." Brent Murri, M13 What kind of startups he invests in: Consumer Why he's on the list: Since joining M13 in 2017, Murri has invested across consumer verticals including wellness, communications, food, and financial services. The Brigham Young University grad was previously a VC at Battery Ventures, and before that, he worked in strategy at Samsung Next. Murri told Insider that people looking to break into investing should find a specific market in the tech sector that they're passionate about and read up on it. "I'm always impressed when I meet an interview candidate or aspiring VC who teaches me about an industry I think I already know about," he said. What kind of startups he invests in: Early-stage tech Why he's on the list: Levy has been at Watertower since 2018, where he focuses on early-stage tech investing. Prior to joining the firm, the UCLA Anderson School of Management grad worked at financial-services firm Liquid Stock, Google, the IT consultant Slalom, and General Electric, where he was a cloud architect. As an early-stage investor, Levy said that founder and vision are even more important than a startup's business. "Often there isn't data yet proving the feasibility of the business," he told Insider. "A few characteristics and traits I look for are founder-business fit, resilience and composure in the face of adversity, and leadership capabilities that inspire confidence in future employees, customers, and investors." Adam Struck, Struck Capital Struck Crypto What kind of startups he invests in: Seed-stage business-to-business and business-to-business-to-consumer, crypto. Why he's on the list: Since founding his eponymous company in 2014, Struck has become a well-known investor in the LA VC community and counts celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio among his LPs. In addition to its general venture fund, Struck Capital also has a crypto fund and a startup incubator. Struck previously told insider that the most important thing he looks for in founders is their ability to handle adversity. Creating a startup is a polarizing experience, not for the faint of heart," he said. "Those who succeed expect to be knocked down and already envision themselves getting back up." Wilson Kyi, Basis Set Ventures Wilson Kyi Notable investments: Akido, Lob, Operant, Güeno, Replo, and Formance What kind of startups he invests in: Pre-seed and seed companies focused on security, designer-developer tools, and AI- and machine-learning-powered software. Check sizes range from $75,000 to $150,000. Why he is on the list: Chen created a fan page at age 13 that had nearly 1 million users before it was acquired in 2008. In 2018, he cofounded Stitchroom, an interior-design company. Chen, who is passionate about cryptocurrency, has been angel investing for years. In 2021, he joined Magic Fund, a global collective of founders, as a general partner in LA. Meghan Moreland, Riot Ventures What kind of startups he invests in: Early stage Why he's on the list: Hamilton joined Upfront in 2021, where he's the investment team's chief of staff. Before joining the firm, he was an impact investor at Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit focused on formerly incarcerated and gang-affiliated people. Hamilton told Insider that breaking into the venture-capital world could be hard — but nontraditional pathways can help you make the connections you need. "Joining clubs, scout programs, slack groups, or accelerators is a great way to start building your network and track record," he said. Hamilton earned his MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. While there, he was a summer associate at MiLA Capital focusing on supply-chain startups. Will Bumpus, Concrete Rose Capital Will Bumpus, Concrete Rose Capital Concrete Rose Capital
Troy Capital Partners Investments
Troy Capital Partners has made 10 investments. Their latest investment was in Behold as part of their Seed VC on September 9, 2020.
Troy Capital Partners Investments Activity
Troy Capital Partners Team
2 Team Members
Troy Capital Partners has 2 team members, including current Founder, General Partner, Samit Varma.