Paige Craig is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Outlander VC, the early-stage VC fund that boasts early investment in Unicorns like Wish, Lyft, Angelist and Klarna. After serving in the Marine Corps, Paige combined his natural entrepreneurial instinct with his passion for national security and bootstrapped a private military company. He will be telling us more about his ventures in this interview with TechBullion.
Please tell us more about yourself and what inspired you to go into Venture Capital business?
My name is Paige Craig and I am a former U.S. Marine, VC investor and founder. After serving in Iraq during the Second Gulf War, I saw a need for a private military and made the decision to bootstrap one myself. I took a seed of 10K and grew it into a $300 million business within 4 years. I continue to seed new ideas through my firm Outlander VC where we support only the best and brightest founders innovating for the future.
What is your mission at Outlander and what unique solutions do you provide?
We seek to fund founders that have innovative solutions to clearly defined problems. We support our founders through every step of the process from seed, through growth, and beyond. We stand beside our innovators and provide guidance from our team of experienced experts. We support growth and positive change wherever we may find it.
What kind and stage of businesses do you focus on and what are your strategies for selecting and funding qualified businesses?
I firmly believe early stage tech start-ups are the best investment available today. We prefer to discover our founders at seed stage so that we can ensure that our proven business practices are utilized in the scaling of the start-up. We tend to focus on ideas from innovators that have historically been marginalized in the investment industry, women and people of color. The main characteristic we want to see in our founders is tenacity. A willingness to push through the difficult times. That’s where our success stems from.
Many founders have viable business ideas, but do not know how to get started with funding. How far can you go to support these businesses? What is possible at Outlander and what is not?
We are there from first check to exit, including ventures that are at the pre-product or pre-revenue stage. It’s true there are MANY viable business ideas. That’s why the main focus for us is on the character and wherewithal of our founding teams. You may have a great idea, but do you have the grit to make it happen? We can’t provide the grit or the idea. Once an innovator has those two ingredients, they simply need to visit our website to get started. We have a robust screening process that has led us to choose the best of the best, and our portfolio proves that success.
With your wealth of experience, what other expert services do you give founders besides funding?
Once we invest in a founder, that’s’ when the real work begins. We hold weekly partner strategy meetings that connect our founders with our network of mentors whether founders, investors or category experts. We provide continued opportunities for fundraising connecting founders to our investors via demo days we hold regularly. We offer support in financial modeling, pitch prep guidance, and we connect our teams with deep discounts on business tools and services they will need to grow.
Your credibility can be seen in your successful portfolio of some of the top unicorn companies. Any notable moments or success stories you would like to share with us from these ventures?
I am proud of all of our success stories of course, but I do take a little extra pride in the fact that I helped seed some of the most known names in tech innovation including Lyft, Gusto and Scale. But of all my investments, being the first investor into Angellist over a decade ago is the most rewarding. Almost everyone doubted the size or potential at the time and Naval and his team has changed the world of finance with their funding platform. What these companies all have in common is they were outlandish ideas, with passionate, intelligent, and resilient founders behind them. It’s that simple.
As a thought leader in the venture capital field, what would be your advice for startups and scale up businesses looking for venture capital investment?
Don’t try to go it alone. Lean on those that have gone before you,that have experience and knowledge in the process. A good pitch is integral to raising funds, and a firm such as Outlander can help you develop your plan and provide guidance on how to successfully persuade investors to believe in your vision and open their wallets to bring your ideas to fruition.
Could you give us a walkthrough of how to connect with and pitch to Investors on Outlander?
The entire process starts with filling out our initial contact form on our website. We ask some basic contact questions, and then we ask you to describe your business, choose your customer base, and upload your deck or any files related to your business. We screen new candidates weekly using our Founders Framework which focuses on analyzing a start-up’s vision, intelligence, character and execution. If selected we will help you develop your pitch and provide opportunities for you to share your outlandish idea with our network of investors.
Tell us more about your team and the financial experts behind Outlander. What makes you special?
Everyone that works on our team carries the characteristics that we look for in our founders. We come alongside our visionaries and walk with them as we have all been founders ourselves, and have experienced what it is like to be on the other side of the pitch deck. We value diversity and inclusion and see a real need to amplify the people and visions that many others foolishly disregard. In our personal and professional lives, we have carved our own paths, made bold moves and triumphed over adversity. We aren’t people who simply read books and studied theories. We have had our hands down in the proverbial mud many times. We know how to push through and win.
Are there any available opportunities for investors and partnerships at Outlander? Do you have more information for our readers today?
We are currently raising capital for our third round of funding, Outlander Magellan. We are slated to raise an additional $250 million for the next wave of uniquely qualified pre-seed tech start-ups. Our ventures thus far have produced Unicorns at a rate of 10%, as opposed to the global average of 2%.