Harpoon Ventures, backed by Michael Phelps, raises $125M to support Early-Stage Startups

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©   Harpoon Ventures

Harpoon Ventures, a US-based venture capital firm, has successfully secured a $125 million fund to back early-stage startups. This upcoming fourth fund, anticipated to set to close last Friday, is set to surpass its predecessor, which reached $122.5 million in 2021.

The fund, backed by investors like Peter Levine of Andreessen Horowitz and former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, represents a unique blend of sports excellence and investment acumen. Harpoon Ventures, founded in 2018 in Menlo Park by Larsen Jensen and now based in San Diego, California, focuses on investing in dual-use technologies—commercial products with applications for both the private sector and federal agencies.


Notable Investments and Portfolio Growth

With a portfolio spanning approximately four dozen startups, Harpoon Ventures has made notable investments in clean tech provider Solugen and satellite company Astranis Space Technologies. Astranis recently inked deals with the US Department of Defense and reached a valuation of $1.6 billion.

The Vision of Harpoon Ventures

Larsen Jensen, a former double Olympian with silver and bronze swimming medals and a former Navy SEAL, co-founded Harpoon Ventures with ex-U.S. Marine Corps officer William Allen. Jensen, who has previously worked at Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed, aims to build an organization that lasts for decades, focusing on impactful investments in the realms of technology and finance.

Overcoming Challenges in Capital Raising

Raising capital has been a formidable task this year, especially 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.

A New Chapter in Venture Capital

Harpoon Ventures’ latest fund raise marks a new chapter in venture capital, blending the strategic vision of seasoned investors with the competitive spirit of sports excellence. This fund is poised to make a significant impact in the early-stage startup ecosystem, providing much-needed support and resources to budding entrepreneurs.


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