Venture Unlocked
Venture Unlocked: The playbook for venture capital managers
The opportunity outside of Silicon Valley and how to build a strategic LP base with Brendan Wales and Kellan Carter of FUSE

The opportunity outside of Silicon Valley and how to build a strategic LP base with Brendan Wales and Kellan Carter of FUSE

Episode 122

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Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

We are excited to bring on Brendan Wales and Kellan Carter, Co-Founders and GPs of FUSE. 

Founded in 2020 with a thesis centered around the growth of the Pacific Northwest ecosystem, a geography both of our guests know well. With its just-announced close of a $250MM Fund 2, FUSE has a total AUM of just over $420MM. 

During our conversation, we covered the strategic nature of LP composition and how venture funds should think about their servicing model to founders. It was a great conversation and I hope you enjoy it. 

About Brendan Wales:
Brendan Wales is a Founding Partner at FUSE. Prior to FUSE, Brendan served as a Partner at (now Headline) for nine years, where he collaborated with founders of high-impact startups like Shipt (acquired by Target), Fetch Rewards, and Shopmonkey. His earlier career also includes being an early employee at zozi, showcasing his hands-on experience in startup growth.

Brendan studied finance at the University of Georgia.

About Kellan Carter:
Kellan Carter is a Founding Partner at FUSE. Previously, as a Partner at IGNITION PARTNERS, he focused on enterprise software investments, contributing significantly to the firm's strategy and growth. His earlier career includes roles in technology sector mergers and acquisitions at Mooreland Partners and structured finance at KPMG Advisory.

Kellan holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Finance focus from The University of Montana.

In this episode, we discuss:

(01:22) Start of Fuse and Pacific Northwest Ecosystem

(03:00) Raising Fund During COVID and LP Composition

(06:34) Activating LPs for Strategic Advantage

(09:40) Learning from Raising Funds in Challenging Times

(17:00) Building a Cohesive Team and Operating Partners

(24:33) Defining the Product Offered to Founders

(26:10) Importance of Sourcing and Winning in Venture Capital

(31:42) Seattle's Unique Position in Technology and Startups

(38:25) Personal Advice for Venture Capital Careers

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Brendan and Kellan. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee