Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 43

Remember John Bissell, of Ikea jars fame? After Ori- gin Materials raised that $500,000 in 2009 locally, he still needed more. Much more. So he expanded the scope of his search, and over the next few years raised approximately $30 million from the Bay Area and New York. “Then another $80 million, and that was basically from all over, including Europe,” Bissell says. The well-capitalized company, which has 35 of its 65 employees in West Sacramento, now helps Pepsi and Nestlé create sustainable plastic bottles. When HomeZada, based in El Dorado Hill, launched in 2011, the founders needed to rustle up another $1.2 million of capital. “We tried to get it all in the region,” says cofound- er Elizabeth Dodson. They did get some local angel invest- ments (including a slice from Moneta), but not enough to fill the hole. They pitched the Sac Angels. They weren’t chosen. Yet they kept at it, and eventually she found the rest outside the region. “Very few firms actually care that much about geog- raphy,” says Aaron Klein, the CEO of Riskalyze, an Au- burn-based firm that creates portfolio management tools. Klein found $20 million from FTV Capital, which is based in San Francisco and New York. “We’re trying to invest in the best companies and best management teams, no matter where they are,” says Abhay Puskoor, a principal at FTV Capital, who lives in San Fran- cisco. Puskoor likes what he sees with the Riskalyze in- vestment, and now he’s considering a few other Sacramen- to-based startups. “There’s a very impressive talent pool in the Sacramento area,” says Puskoor. “Even though Sacra- mento might not get the splashy headlines that Silicon Val- ley does, and it doesn’t have the hype machine, there’s just as much excitement and innovation.” The answer of whether there’s “enough” private capital in the region definitely depends on the context. To entice more startups to move to the Capital Region, more funding might be necessary. Yet for local entrepreneurs, the truth is that it shouldn’t matter. The capital is out there. “The bottom line,” says Klein, “is that if you are building a great company and have the numbers to prove it, you’re going to be able to raise capital while based in Sacramento, period, full stop.” n Jeff Wilser is the author of six books, including “Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life.” Twitter at @jeffwilser. You Are Unique. Your retirement plan should be too. This popular annual event provides much-needed funds to help TLCS in our effort to end homelessness in Sacramento County THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS PRESENTING SPONSOR SUPPORTING SPONSORS If you are within 5 years of retiring, get a free retirement account review. Call (888) 2-HANSON or visit Hanson McClain Advisors is an Investment Advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Securities offered through Hanson McClain Securities, a Registered Broker/Dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. CARRIER OF HOPE SPONSORS Councilmember Jeff Harris • Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc • David Sobon Auctions Epona Investment Group • Folsom Ready Mix • Gilbert & Associates Hospital Council of Northern & Central California • HR to Go Sacramento Association of Realtors • Sloan S. Yeung & Wong LLP State Farm Insurance, office of Michele Adams • Western Health Advantage December 2018 | 43