About K9

K9 Ventures is a technology-focused Pre-Seed fund in Palo Alto, California.

What we look for

K9 Ventures is a technology focused Pre-Seed fund based in Palo Alto, California. We believe that extraordinary things are possible when great teams come together around technology. We primarily invest at the pre-seed stage, when the founding team is established and just starting to build the product, but we sometimes invest even earlier and have engaged with founders when they’re just thinking about the idea and haven’t yet incorporated their company.

K9 wants to be the first institutional / professional capital raised by the companies we invest in. This means we typically engage with companies either when they have raised no capital at all (preferred) or when they have raised only friends and family money. If a company is going through an incubator / accelerator, then that’s probably already too late for K9 to engage.

Our initial investment ranges between $250K and $750K, with the sweet-spot being around $400K. We prefer to lead investment rounds, and when we do, K9 will take a board seat and actively work with the founder(s) to build the company. To provide sufficient attention to each portfolio company, K9 only invests in 4-6 companies per year. We structure all our investments as priced equity rounds based on the Series Seed documents and do not do Convertible Notes/SAFEs. To learn more, please see our investment criteria.

Investing in relationships

VC firms love to talk about how important they are to their portfolio companies’ success. We don’t believe in singing our own praises. If you want to learn how we’ve helped entrepreneurs like you, we encourage you to talk to startup founders in the K9 portfolio.

Our view is that money is a commodity in the venture capital industry and the only two currencies that matter are reputation and time. With that in mind, our four guiding values are:

  • Respect for everyone (entrepreneurs, LPs, team)
  • Honesty with tactfulness
  • Transparency of process
  • Humility because arrogance kills

At K9 we invest in very few companies so that we can build deep relationships with founders. We want to be your first call when you have a question, a victory, or a crisis. We believe that actions speak louder than words. We want more signal than noise for ourselves and that also how we like to work with our portfolio companies, by being mindful of founders’ time while being proactive in providing help as and when needed, providing directional guidance, and acting as a sounding board for our founders on topics ranging from product, design, business models, pricing, recruiting, fundraising, M&A, marketing (PR and content marketing) and more.

To get to know us better, please read our blog — we’re open with our opinions and and consistent in our views.

Why “K9”?

Dogs have many traits that can be useful at different times. They can be your best friend; they can be loyal and loving, aggressive and intelligent. Startups require different forms of support at different times. If dogs are “man’s best friend,” you can think of K9 Ventures as the “startup’s best friend.”

We’re also comfortable making our own decisions, going against the crowd, and charting our own path. If you’ve fundraised before, you know that most VCs are sheep. We’re not.