LA Venture Podcast


Will Coffield — Riot Ventures

June 28, 2023

Series B

Will Coffield is co-Founder and General Partner at Riot Ventures, a hard tech fund that invests at seed and Series B. 

In this episode Will shares:

- Why the DoD has newfound interest in working with startups.

- How AI will enable the next wave of defense tech products.

- How Will used SPVs to build Riot’s credibility within the LP community.

Full transcript

My partner Steve Marcus and I co-founded the firm in 2017. And I think the insight that we had that was the impetus for starting the firm was we saw this major dislocation between where a lot of the innovation capital was being invested by the venture asset class and where, you know, the sort of core drivers of the global economy was.

And what we saw is there was not a lot of innovation capital going towards these monster sort of industrial sectors of the economy: manufacturing, construction, defense and aerospace, supply chain logistics, energy. There's a huge amount of innovation capital going into places like FinTech. Which isn't to say that we don't see a huge amount of opportunity in FinTech, but just that there was an undercapitalization of a core to the global economy that created an interesting opportunity for us to go take advantage of.

And you know, I think as we were asking ourselves why other venture firms were not taking advantage of that opportunity, we saw that, you know, the sort of broad modernization of these critical industrial sectors of the economy sat at the intersection of two things that most VCs really don't like doing.