On May 3, 2017, Coplex announced the launch of its first $5 million accelerator fund under its new venture capital arm called Coplex Ventures. In April of last year, Coplex made the shift from a digital agency to what’s known as a Startup Studio. The launch of its first fund completes its transition. With over 30 employees, this makes Coplex the largest accelerator in Phoenix and puts it on pace to be one of the largest in the US.
While considering opportunities from around the country, the Coplex startup studio plans to focus primarily on software startups in the Phoenix area, as well as Los Angeles and Seattle, where the startup studio has additional locations. Coplex is no stranger to helping software startups, having built almost 300 to date.
The Coplex Ventures Accelerator fund is the second VC fund to call Phoenix home this year. The first was AZ Founders Fund, a VC fund with whom Coplex hopes to co-invest on some startups. The Valley is sure to see more as time goes on, and Coplex is in full support of the growing startup ecosystem.
When asked about the possibility of additional capital being added to the fund, Zach Ferres, a member of the Coplex founding team based in Phoenix said:
“We’re looking to validate our new model with Fund I and then raise additional regional and growth funds in the coming years.”
Ferres is one of three founders that include himself, Allen Debevoise, and Troy Rice. Red Lion Advisors and Third Wave Digital are advisors for the fund. DLA Piper was used for the fund formation efforts and Coplex is further partnering with them to offer the DLA Piper Nest program to its ventures.
What is a Startup Studio?
A unique quality of the new fund that you won’t easily find elsewhere is its startup studio structure. According to the Coplex announcement, the difference between a startup studio and traditional startup accelerator is in the resources provided. Where a traditional accelerator provides funding and industry expertise, a startup studio provides funding and product development resources. This makes the startup studio model perfect for founders who already bring strong industry knowledge to the table but cannot code.
The model has grown in popularity around the world in recent years, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in investments. One of the most notable companies to come out of a startup studio was Dollar Shave Club, which was developed at the Science startup studio in Santa Monica, CA. Dollar Shave club was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion last year.
More than Just a Fund
In addition to the $5 million raise, Coplex announced they’ll be hosting their first Demo Day event at the end of this year or early 2018. The event will invite ventures and members of the investment community from around the country to Phoenix. This will be a prime opportunity for those looking for capital to build their startup and it will help bring much more attention to Phoenix from the national spotlight.
Additionally, Coplex hopes to launch their first international accelerator in the United Arab Emirates next year. This move will expand their markets around the world and afford more opportunities to startups from Phoenix and beyond.
Interested in working with Coplex Ventures? You can learn more and apply for investment consideration at coplexventures.com. The site explains the qualification criteria, investment sizes, application form, and ways to invest.