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Double Olympian’s VC fund raises $125M along with Michael Phelps to back early-stage startups


According to news reports in the tech space, US-based VC firm Harpoon Ventures, with backing from investors like Peter Levine of Andreessen Horowitz and former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has secured a $125 million fund to support early-stage startups.

The upcoming fourth fund, anticipated to be completed this Friday, is set to surpass its predecessor, closing at a slightly larger size than the 2021 fund, which reached $122.5 million, says Harpoon founder Larsen Jensen in a Bloomberg report.

Founded in 2018 in Menlo Park by Larsen Jensen and now based in San Diego, California, the VC firm focuses on investing in dual-use technologies—commercial products with applications for both the private sector and federal agencies. With a portfolio spanning approximately four dozen startups, notable investments include clean tech provider Solugen and satellite company Astranis Space Technologies. The latter recently inked deals with the US Department of Defense and reached a valuation of $1.6 billion.

“We want to build an organisation that lasts for decades.” reportedly said Jensen. Like Phelps, he’s also a former double Olympian with silver and bronze swimming medals and a former Navy SEAL. He has previously worked at Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed, earning an MBA before co-founding Harpoon with ex-U.S. Marine Corps officer William Allen. Allen, post-Marines, pursued a graduate degree at Columbia University, delving into national security consulting at Deloitte before transitioning into the realms of technology and finance.

Raising capital has proven to be a formidable task this year, particularly given the subdued state of the initial public offerings (IPO) market. By the close of the third quarter, U.S.-based venture firms had collected only $42.7 billion, indicating that 2023 is on track to record the lowest annual total since 2017, as per data from PitchBook.

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