1864 Fund

A $10M seed fund focused on capital efficient opportunities in emerging ecosystems in the US

Seed Investing is Changing

In 2023, despite many Seed and A-Round investors pulling out or slowing down, we have witnessed a remarkable surge in innovation. The crash in zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) valuations has opened up unprecedented opportunities reminiscent of investments after the 'Great Recession' and the Internet 'Bubble Burst.' We are seizing this moment by investing in exceptional startups in expansive markets, defying the ZIRP trend, and securing advantageous terms. Notably, our portfolio valuation has soared by 3x in just three years. We are confident that this trend will persist, ensuring that our capital remains competitive and influential for ambitious seed-stage founders and pioneering companies. We foresee a flourishing environment for new company formation, especially in tandem with a contracting labor market.

With our prior fund fully utilized, we are now raising a larger fund to capitalize on this once-in-a-decade opportunity. Join Granite Partners and invest in 1864.Fund and be a part of this exciting, profitable journey.

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Startups of the Great Recession era 2007 to 2014
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Modest 7 figure entry valuations returned 500 to 5000 X

A Track Record to NV

While 1864 is our newest fund, the partnership team managing the fund is not new.  Since 2021, Granite Partners has invested $8.6M, making 36 separate investments in 25 startups.  Our managed funds and syndicate include 277 unique high-net-worth investors. We have formal partnerships with the StartUpNV accelerator and the State of Nevada's SSBCI program that matches our Nevada investments 1:1.  Additionally, seven venture funds and multiple angel groups have followed our lead, adding $20.4M to our direct investments. 

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Who are the Granite Partners?

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Jeff Saling | Managing General Partner

  • Co-founder, Executive Director at StartUpNV since 2017
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  • Enterprise SaaS Founder with 4 successful exits, 3 by IPO (1992-2016) 

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                                         Steve Hurst | General Partner
  • Founder: MindMed (Nasdaq: MNMD)
  • Consultant to World Bank & BIO Ventures for Global Health
  • Early Startup Executive with Nektar Therapeutics 
  • J.D. specializing in patent law

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Piotr Tomasik | General Partner, Granite Partners

  • Co-Founder, President & COO @ Tensorwave (2023)
  • Co-Founder Influential. The company grew exponentially to become Pitchbook's most valuable VC-Backed company in Nevada (2018).
  • Serves on the UNLV computer science advisory board.

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Leith Martin | General Partner, Granite Partners

  • Executive Director of the UNLV Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship 
  • Rebel Venture Fund Board Member
  • Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Advisory Board Member
  • Co-founder of Equiinet, providing business communications services.
Since 2021

Granite Partners Activity Since 2021

Since 2017

StartUpNV Activity Since 2017

About the 1864 Fund

With $10M earmarked for seed-stage investments, The 1864 Fund stands as a proud affiliate of StartUpNV, championing the growth of nascent enterprises and visionary founders not just within Nevada's borders, but extending its reach beyond. Anchored in the vibrant hub of Las Vegas, our fund enjoys unparalleled connectivity to countless US cities, positioning us at the heart of opportunity. As we've done in our home town and state,  we reach to unearth the potential in underserved capital markets. In collaboration with local economic development like our partners at StartUpNV, we find the hidden gems—ambitious founders and startups nestled in the heart of America.

The 1864 Fund leads investment rounds with checks ranging from $350K to $500K, targeting fundraising efforts of $500K to $2.5M. Additionally, we engage in syndication, backing trusted partners with $100K to $200K investments to diversify our portfolio and mitigate the inherent risks of early-stage funding.

How 1864 looks at opportunities

What we like:

  • Subscriptions and/or recurring revenue
  • Highly scalable tech
  • Practical application of emerging tech (AI, web3, decentralization)
  • Marketplaces with hard-to-secure inventory
  • Capital efficiency / non-dilutive funding
  • Full-time founders

Bonus:

  • IP
  • Team: deep or relevant experience/expertise and balanced skillsets
  • Team: prior experience raising and returning capital to investors
  • Traction: Sales @ $40k -$50K MRR

What we don't like:

  • Companies with messy or sloppy cap tables
  • Capital intensive / deep science businesses 
  • Coins/Tokens/NFTs of limited practical utility
  • Consumer Packaged Goods, Food, or Supplements
  • Lifestyle businesses – restaurants, salons, gyms
  • “Tar pit” business – idealist founders approaching ambitious markets with little competitive advantage or differentiation
  • Non-U.S. Corps (with very limited exceptions)
  • Prior priced rounds with arbitrarily low valuations and/or highly aggressive terms (for investors or founders)
  • Teams, Leagues, Festivals, Events or Productions

Why we invest

  • The company has demonstrated initial market validation and line-of-sight to sales >$500K annually
  • Our money is part of a meaningful part of a larger round supported by financial growth of company.
  • The company has made efficient use of capital through a novel approach or product.
  • The founders are committed, determined, and leaders among their peers.
  • The problem/solution addresses (or will create) a large TAM / SAM with an achievable and practical SOM.
  • The deal has a realistic and reasonable valuation supported by the company's progress and industry comps.

How we invest

  • Checks $150K -$500K
  • Seed Rounds $500K -$2.5M, depending on valuation
  • Achievable exit scenarios returning 50x per investment (2X fund size)
  • The deal has a realistic and reasonable valuation supported by the company's progress and industry exit comparables.
  • Lead where appropriate, with board seat and neutral board
  • Unless offered similar / better terms, avoid deals with
    • early priced rounds involving nominal capital 
    • early rounds with aggressive terms such as full ratchet, participating preference, preference multiples, etc.
  • Every opportunity QSBS qualified
  • Target 1864 ownership: 5%, deal dependent (as part of round size for 15%-20%, valuation target in mid-seven figures)
  • "Dream Deal": $1M round with $5M valuation (20%) for a company in a large market with founders who can execute and current run rate of $500k in annual recurring sales, growing at 10% or more month over month.

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