Deep Space Ventures has closed $500,000 investments each for two companies, continuing a busy year and half of activity for the Dallas-based venture capital firm.
The companies are Austin-based Self Lender and Haste, which is headquartered in Atlanta.
Deep Space Ventures closed its Series A round investment last week in Self Lender. The round was led by Silverton Partners, an Austin-based venture capital firm.
Self Lender helps consumers who have bad credit scores, or no credit scores, to establish and build their credit score through a product called “Credit Builder.”
Stephen Hays, managing partner in Deep Space Ventures, said the investment in Self Lender was an important one for him.
“I know that there is a big issue with people out there who don’t have a credit score,” Hays said.
“I know that there is a big issue with people out there who don’t have a credit score.”
He said many of them are veterans or service members, and as a veteran himself, he sees Self Lender as a way to help that group.
The Credit Builder program is a small loan that is held in a CD account for 12 months. The borrower then makes 12 payments on the account that are reported to the credit bureaus each month, establishing a record with those bureaus.
“Honestly, I think of this as a solution for service members,” Hays said, because Self Lender accounts give the service members an opportunity to build their credit scores and eventually gain access to other forms of credit.
DEEP SPACE VENTURES WAS LEAD INVESTOR IN HASTE
In its other recent investment, Deep Space Ventures was the lead investor in a round for esports startup Haste, which helps reduce lag time and optimize network performance for gamers. Deep Space’s $500,000 was a part of the total $2.5 million round for the startup.
Haste intelligently routes game traffic through a combination of software installed on a user’s computer and hardware at data centers to allow for a more responsive connection, thereby reducing lag time.
The startup does that by giving gamers a more direct connection to the internet than their normal service provider can.
“You’re sending up a lot of commands every minute,” Hays said about the connection required for gamers.
“You’re sending up a lot of commands every minute.”
Deep Space Ventures’ investments generally range between $50,000 and $1 million, with the size of the investment determined by the stage of the business, and Deep Space’s role in the transaction.
Hays said the company has been very busy since March of last year, having completed 14 deals in that time.
“We have seen 502 pitches since we started in March of last year,” Hays said.
In 2017 alone, Deep Space Ventures has seen 259 pitches with 34 percent of them in Texas and 26 percent in California, and 8 percent in New York. It’s also seen pitches in 38 other states and countries, he said.
Hays said that of the 88 pitches in Texas, 58 percent of those were in Dallas-Fort Worth, while 34 percent were in Austin, 6 percent in Houston, and 1 percent in San Antonio.
[Feature image: stevanovicigor via istockphoto]