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Peak Ventures Closes $23 Million Fund to Invest in Utah Startups

There is a real need for new capital sources to fund the brightest entrepreneurs in Utah.

Peak Ventures, a Provo-based early stage investment firm and wholly owned subsidiary of Peak Capital Partners, today announced the close of a $23 million venture capital fund.

According to Peak Ventures, the fund will target seed-stage startups in Utah and the Mountain West, and will cut checks to local companies ranging from $100,000 to $1 million.

“There is a real need for new capital sources to fund the brightest entrepreneurs in Utah,” said Jeff Burningham, founder and managing partner of Peak Ventures. “We plan to meet that need by focusing on the entrepreneur. In the early days of your startup, it’s about gaining every possible advantage and executing. In essence, we’ve assembled the type of venture firm that we wished would have existed when we were raising capital for our startups.”

Peak Capital Partners was founded in 2007 by Burningham, Jeff Danley, and Jamie Dunn. The company’s partners were recently named the 2014 Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in the Mountain West region.

After launching Peak Ventures and raising this new fund, the company managed to convince local entrepreneur Sid Krommenhoek to co-manage the fund alongside Burningham. Krommenhoek was the founder Zinch, the edtech startup that was acquired by Chegg in 2011 for a reported $45 million.

Burningham is also a former founder and serial entrepreneur. He founded MindWire, which was acquired by Avalon Digital, a NASDAQ listed company, in 2003. Following MindWire, Burningham founded Peak Capital Partners, a real estate private equity firm with an asset portfolio valued at $800 million.

“Having built companies in Utah we place huge value on having local investors who understand firsthand the needs of a startup,” Krommenhoek said. “The past decade of tech growth in Utah has created a savvy group of entrepreneurs who aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They’re following strong exits from previous wins with even more ambitious startups, raising unprecedented rounds of financing, and seeking talented team members who can perform at a very high level. That’s where Peak Ventures will play.”

Some of Peak Ventures’ recent investments include: Owlet, Studio, Tute Genomics, AirEnvy, GrassWire, RepDrive, FireAvert, Meter Solutions, ChatAds, Screenie, Creditera, and iWrap.

Published 9/8/2014