Jimmer Fredette has joined Tandem Ventures as its newest Partner. The Draper-based investment firm made the announcement today at Silicon Slopes Summit 2022, where Fredette spoke to a crowd of over 8,000 attendees at the biggest annual tech conference in Utah, this year on the floor of the Vivint Arena, a familiar venue for Fredette.
Having spent the last 11 years playing basketball professionally in the US and abroad, dazzling crowds with his otherworldly ability to repeatedly sink long distance shots, Fredette will leverage his global network to score some of Utah’s hottest deals in the coming months and years. He joins Co-founders Alex Bean and McKay Dunn in one of Utah’s newest venture funds, Tandem Ventures, which formed earlier this year.
Tandem Ventures is a new venture firm in Utah’s growing tech community. Dunn and Bean have gone through fundraising, exits, and the pains and joys of founding and growing a company. They created Tandem to be an investor-friendly firm initially focused on SPVs, Special Purpose Vehicles, enabling quicker returns for investors and unique access to some of Utah’s most promising tech companies. By leveraging their own experience, their network of operators, and capital, they are helping build the next wave of unicorns. To date, Tandem’s SPV approach has focused on later-stage (Series B and beyond) B2B companies with a focus on Software as a Service (SaaS). It has done three such SPV transactions to date. However, the company plans in the new year to add early-stage investing to its repertoire: leading pre-seed, seed and Series A to the tune of 10 to 15 investments per year.
TechBuzz sat down with Fredette and Co-founder and Partner, McKay Dunn to talk about the Tandem partner team.
The firm’s investment thesis is generally focused on B2B and SaaS. “At a high level, we’re generalist and focused on backing the right teams. Especially at the early stages, venture investing is about the founders. We’re looking for founding teams that are hungry to win and build exceptional companies. If we can find those people, we’re confident that we will be funding the next wave of unicorns in Utah.”
The company is driven by helping a new crop of entrepreneurs take the leap from working safe, full time jobs to creating startups.
“One of our passions is to provide talented entrepreneurs with funding so they can leave their jobs and start companies,” says Dunn. “We know it’s hard for talented people to leave good paying jobs to go start something new and take on a lot of risk; we want to mitigate that risk by helping those talented people bet on themselves.”
Fredette has been quietly working with Dunn and Bean for the past few months getting up to speed on the firm’s operations and investments. “Two things matter a lot in Venture,” says Dunn. “One, seeing the right deals, and two, winning those deals. Jimmer helps us with both. He’s a huge value add, a great judge of character and knows how to build teams.”
“I think we have a good team…with Alex having built Divvy from zero to a $2.5 billion exit in five years, and McKay with his VC background and network, and then for me, bringing my competitive spirit and knowing a little bit about the venture space, being able to get us in the best rooms, in the best deals—and being able to win those deals. That’s what we plan for. It’s a new challenge and I’m happy and excited about it,” says Fredette.
“Jimmer has created an amazing name for himself both on and off the court,” says Alex Bean, co-founder of Divvy and one of the co-founders and partners of Tandem. “He is a good example of people I like to work with–genuine, trustworthy, and competitive. We’re excited to have him on the team and see what we can bring to the Utah tech ecosystem.”