Justin Label, former Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, leads investments on behalf of eight L.P.’s, anchored by Ron and Cyndi Gula, formerly of Tenable Network Security, Inc.
BALTIMORE, June 14, 2019 — Inner Loop Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm supporting founders of cybersecurity and enterprise technology companies in the Washington, D.C. region, today announced a new $2.6 million Syndicate Fund to help fuel the early-stage venture ecosystem in the region. Founded and managed by Justin Label, an active angel investor and former Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, the firm aims to ease the early fundraising process for the most promising D.C. area founders so that they can accelerate toward hyper-growth and build companies of global scale and reach.
“Greater Washington D.C. is the largest economy in the U.S. without a liquid seed-stage venture capital market,” said Label. “The challenges of raising early capital in the D.C. region are frustrating to local founders and inhibit the growth of our venture and tech ecosystem. The outstanding founders of the D.C. region prove there is a viable venture market here. Nearly $2 billion in venture capital is invested in the area each year. And yet there is no institutional seed-stage venture capital fund with a mission of supporting D.C. area founders. We want this Syndicate Fund, raised from investors who see this opportunity, to be a step toward addressing that gap.”
The fund will have a primary focus on cybersecurity founders. The D.C. region, or “Cyber Corridor”, is home to the second-largest concentration of cybersecurity product companies in the U.S. and has spawned cyber “unicorns” including Sourcefire, Mandiant, and Tenable. Label gained substantial experience in cybersecurity while at Bessemer Venture Partners and focused on the sector as a Baltimore-based angel investor from 2015 to 2018. He was among the first investors in some of the D.C. region’s fastest-growing companies, including NS8 and Cybrary, where he also helped those founders build their initial investor syndicates.
“We’ve named this a Syndicate Fund because it places committed capital behind the kind of syndicate formation active angel investors do in the D.C. region. Founders need investors who share their vision, can commit meaningful dollars at venture speed, and partner with them for a long journey. We hope this Syndicate Fund brings all those elements together under one roof for D.C. area founders.”
Gula Tech Adventures, led by Ron and Cyndi Gula, formerly of Tenable Network Security, Inc., anchored the new Syndicate Fund and was joined by seven additional Limited Partners including Bloomberg Beta, two family offices, and several cybersecurity founders.
“We believe strongly in the potential of D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia founders and of building a thriving venture ecosystem in the region,” said Ron Gula, President of Gula Tech Adventures. “After co-investing five times with Justin as angel investors, we’re now glad to formally partner with Inner Loop Capital to continue to back visionary founders very early in their development.”
The fund aims to make approximately eight seed-stage investments over eighteen months, with typical initial investments of $300-400k. The Syndicate Fund can expand as necessary to fund follow-on rounds of its portfolio companies. Beyond cybersecurity, Inner Loop invests exclusively in enterprise technology companies, including cloud infrastructure, data analytics, and enterprise SaaS. Inner Loop will invest largely in the D.C. area, while also making investments in San Francisco and other tech hubs to encourage greater cross-pollination of ideas and capital for D.C. founders.
Since launching in January of 2019, Inner Loop Capital’s Syndicate Fund has led the Seed round of D.C.-based GreyNoise Intelligence, Inc., and participated in early financings of Tall Poppy Security, Inc. and Crosschq, Inc., both of San Francisco.
Area enterprise technology founders and members of the investment community are invited to join Label and Gula at the National Harbor Cyber Innovation Wine Down networking event being held on Tuesday, June 18 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop located at 137 Waterfront Street in Oxon Hill, MD. To RSVP visit https://events.bugcrowd.com/cyberinnovationwinedown/inner-loop-capital.
About Inner Loop Capital
Inner Loop Capital is a seed stage venture capital investment firm committed to fueling a strong D.C. area early-stage venture market ecosystem. The firm’s mission includes accelerating D.C. founders’ access to early capital and beyond while encouraging visionary founders to build the largest, fastest-growing companies possible. Based in Baltimore, MD, Inner Loop invests exclusively in enterprise technology companies in the Washington D.C. area and beyond, with a particular focus on cybersecurity.