Chaac Ventures, a seed venture capital (VC) fund focused on Princeton University’s top alumni tech founders, agreed to make it’s first investment, into Locent, a Los Angeles-based SaaS (Software as a Service) company that has developed technology that will allow merchants to expand their capabilities to sell products and services over SMS (text) technology.
“We are excited for the opportunity to invest in and partner with Locent,” said Luke Armour, founder of Chaac and Princeton class of 2013. “We see the future of mobile commerce moving from voice and email to SMS. It is the next step in the progression of mobile transactions, business and customer interactions.”
Chaac is one of the first funds to focus exclusively on Princeton founders: “When I was at Princeton,” Armour recalls, “we would often discuss ideas for companies and ventures we wanted to start, but it wasn’t clear where or how to get funding. Our vision at Chaac is not only to invest in Princeton’s top alumni entrepreneurs, but also to create a long-lasting platform that will enable students to build companies around the ideas they’re cultivating in their dorm rooms. We believe we can facilitate this platform and create excellent returns at the same time.”
Locent is a Silicon-Beach (Los Angeles)-based SaaS business founded by Matt Joseph, Princeton class of 2010. With its text-messaging platform, Locent is focused on the multi-billion dollar phone order market. “Merchants process tens of billions of dollars of orders over the phone each year,” says Joseph. “As smartphones become more ubiquitous, customers are more inclined to send text messages than to make phone calls. Our goal is to provide a scalable pricing model that helps enterprise merchants as they transition from phone-commerce to what we’re calling text-commerce.”
Regarding his decision to partner with Chaac, Joseph comments, “Chaac is one of the hardest working and most relatable venture funds I’ve encountered. They’re not just writing checks, they’re a family that is committed to helping entrepreneurs every way they can.”
Chaac’s vision extends beyond the Princeton campus, and plans to be a grass-roots supporter of young entrepreneurs. Through community initiatives, Chaac aims to further technological and entrepreneurial education in inner cities, starting with Los Angeles.
“We have amazing things planned for the near future,” Armour says. “We will be leveraging the intellectual skills and enthusiasm of our entire network to implement initiatives, such as providing coding and entrepreneurial skills to those in our immediate communities who, frankly, might not otherwise be exposed to such crucial learning tools. We want every young person who has the desire to become a visionary to obtain the basic skillsets that will enable them to compete well into the future.”