Despite a difficult climate for raising money from institutional investors, wealthy individuals and businesses, the
"It's a very challenging environment," said
Last year, venture capitalists raised
Bull City's funding is welcome news for Triangle entrepreneurs, who frequently complain the region doesn't have enough venture capital firms making investments in new companies. Venture capitalists prefer, if possible, to invest in startups that are close to home.
Venture capitalists provide startups with the cash they need to develop new products or expand their sales and marketing. The venture capitalists can profit handsomely if these companies go public or are acquired -- and they can come up empty if the companies prove to be busts. The overall game plan is to hit enough home runs to more than compensate for the strikeouts.
"Our No. 1 obligation is to produce a great return for our (investors that have) trusted us with their capital," said co-founder
Bull City raised its funding in two phases. It closed on its initial funding in
Although Bull City is new, Caplain and co-founder
"We don't live to see another day unless we have put up some good numbers," Jones said.
Like most venture capitalists, Jones and Caplain declined to specify the returns reaped by investors in Southern Capitol's two funds, which together raised a total of nearly
Wingo, whose e-commerce technology company has more than 600 employees, also said the Bull City partners are great to work with.
"Jason and Dave, they roll up their sleeves," he said. "If we ever needed anything around recruiting or, hey, we're having a hard time getting into this company or we want to do a partnership with another company, those guys would make it part of their job to go do that for us."
Southern Capitol, meanwhile, isn't making investments in new companies. But it continues to work with its portfolio companies and has money in reserve to make follow-up investments as needed.
Caplain and Jones decided to form Bull City after
"It's a hard way to make a living," Brooks said. "You have to do it for the passion. I think Jason and David have the passion. ... I'm a big fan and I really hope they do well."
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