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Posted March 27, 2014 by Editorial Staff in 2014
 
 

Adventure Capitalism: Making Money the Old-Fashioned Way [Erik Moore]

erik moore
erik moore

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E

rik Moore’s career in venture capital began with a hot tub.

And a chance meeting in an elevator: It was 1999, and a guy named Tony Hsieh had just sold his first company to Microsoft. Hsieh wanted to install a Jacuzzi in his penthouse apartment — but it was against policy in the building, where Moore lived, too. After the fellow tenants ran into each other one night, Hsieh drafted Moore onto the homeowner’s association. They got the sought-after hot tub installed, and became friends.

Good enough friends that Moore invested in Hsieh’s company, Zappos.

At the time, Moore told Hsieh, “I’m not sure I have ever heard of a more stupid idea than selling shoes online.” But, deciding that Hsieh’s talents outweighed the apparent dead-end nature of the service that became Zappos (later acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion), Moore made an investment that eventually provided seed money for his venture capital fund, Base Ventures.

Base Ventures is itself a young, still exceptionally small firm. Under $20 million in size, it’s at the other end of the spectrum from a company like Andreessen Horowitz, a $2.5 billion firm.

But it’s had successes: StyleSeat, an online booking site for hairstylists, just raised a $10.2 million round at more than double what its valuation was when Moore first invested. Balanced Payments has seen a seven-fold increase in transactions from January of last year, now up to $370 million. Moore’s firm also collaborates with Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund, helping to encourage promising companies to move to downtown Las Vegas. (Hsieh is Base Ventures’ largest limited partner.) [...]

Read more: Erik Moore + the Mania for More | Rising Stars | OZY

Article: Courtesy of OZY | Author: Nishat Kirwa | Photo: Jenny Bolario/Youth Radio