Bubba Page Announces Launch of Influence.VC at Kiln Lehi
Serial entrepreneur and prolific investor in Utah-based startups, Bubba Page, announced the launch of his latest venture, an investment firm, Influence.VC. Page launched the firm this month and officially announced it on January 16, 2024 to a packed and well-fed audience at Kiln Lehi, thanks to San Diablo Artisan Churros that deliciously catered the event.
Influence.VC is a syndicated venture capital group founded in collaboration between Page and "several entrepreneur friends who have sold companies and want to invest in a new crop of entrepreneurs," said Page.
He clarified that Influence.VC 's syndicate is is open to all, but only to accredited investors can make financial investments into companies as per SEC requirements. Page welcomes anyone to participate via other collaborations such as promotion on social media,.“A very powerful tool we can use to help these startups and their products,” said Page, reflecting on the experience he has had over the past decade working hand in hand with his wife on her social media company, The Page Company. Page plans to incorporate a major social media element in Influence.VC.
Page also added that Influence VC will not lead investments or "write the first check," but rather will likely co-invest with other Utah VCs, such as Pelion and Kickstart.
Influence.VC is industry-agnostic, meaning it isn’t looking for any particular industry to invest in. Page calls it a “back-stage pass” of “hand-picked deals” for its community of like-minded investors. “We’re a fun group of individuals that like to invest together.”
Influence.VC's investments will fall into two types: cash flow and venture capital.
Regarding the former, Page mentioned “these are investments like a real estate company would make that yield actual cash flows on a monthly or quarterly basis, maybe after a year waiting period or a two year waiting period, depending on what the project is.”
For the latter type of investment, he gave the audience his “VC 101 one-liner,” which basically he broke down as: “Typically we put the money in and we hold—think Shark Tank. Early on we are not getting any cash flow from it, but we have a hope of getting a 10X+ type of return later.”
The interactive second part of the event involved four startups and their founders and a QR code that allowed the audience to vote via their smartphones on companies that they could see investing in. The four pitching companies were:
Mobly, a B2B SaaS platform focused on field sales and marketing. Mobly is post-product, post-revenue and says it has a term sheet with Peterson Ventures to lead a seed round, with participation from angels and other institutional investors.
Kiln, the host of the event. CEO Arian Lewis, who welcomed the audience, said his company raised $15 million in 2022 which funded five new locations. Kiln wants to raise a second “growth facility” to finance further expansion into four to six new locations. The investment is expected to yield within 12 months and is based on achieving an average cash-on-cash yield greater than 18%. Kiln has established its signature stylishly designed co-working spaces serving 4,000 members in 11 locations across five states, including Utah–its founding state, with Lehi and Salt Lake City as its first locations–Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and California. It plans to add two additional states to the list soon.
Phi, founded by Kirk Ouimet, who previously founded and sold his company Scan to Snapchat in 2014 for $54 million. Phi is an AI that is contextualized for personal health information. The purpose of the company is to use its intelligence to analyze health data to “learn how to evolve your mental and physical health.”
The company has raised $3 million from Harpreet Rai, the former CEO of Oura Ring; Kelly Slater, widely regarded as the greatest surfers in the world; Geremy Mustard, the creator of Fortnite; Richie Stapler, founder of Pura; Peter Sellis, Discord’s head of products; Jack Brody, Snap’s head of product, and other investors.
Distro, founded by Chad Ingram, a three-time startup founder with two exits. Ingram founded Jump, a VC-backed startup which he said was sold to Reputation.com in 2019. Based in Lehi, Distro is currently backed by Ingram and other family offices in Utah. The company has raised $900K to date.
Page said another big part of Influence.VC’s mission is to provide entrepreneurship education to the world, and women entrepreneurs in particular. Embedded in the DNA of the company is the desire to share entrepreneurship skills and knowledge to underserved individuals across the globe through educational initiatives–a “learn and earn” model. Further details will be rolled out in the coming months, he said.
“This is part of my mission–to help the world become more self reliant through entrepreneurship.”
TechBuzz will follow Influence.VC and provide updates in the coming months.