Venture Capital Superstar Will Raise Sunstone’s Game

Welcome back to The Sunstone Way.

I’m thrilled to announce Sunstone’s signing of a talent that rivals the Dodgers signing Shohei Ohtani.

While that might be a slight exaggeration, Richard Jun is a superstar in the world of venture capital, and I’m really excited to announce he has joined Sunstone Management as a managing partner and executive committee member overseeing the venture capital portion of our operation. His actual title is Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Venture Capital.

Rich comes to us from Los Angeles, where for the last four years he has made the all-star team – he has been listed on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s LA500, which celebrates the city’s 500 most influential leaders and executives making an impact there. He built that reputation in the company-building world, most recently as co-founder and managing partner of BAM Ventures, a top performing consumer-focused early-stage venture fund.  For multiple years, he has served as a judge and co-lead judge for the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  Rich also serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation.  

An Experienced Winner

Rich is a graduate of Harvard University and earned his law degree from Columbia University.  While he started his career as a corporate attorney, Rich realized his true calling was not in helping companies play defense but to work with founders to start and scale amazing businesses that use technology as an accelerant.  He transitioned out of law to join the management team at ShoeDazzle, a fashion subscription company, which was started by Kim Kardashian MJ Eng and Brian Lee, who also was the co-founder of both Legalzoom with Robert Shapiro and the Honest Company with Jessica Alba.

Two-Way Player

The Brian Lee-Rich Jun partnership blossomed, and after ShoeDazzle exited in 2013, the pair launched BAM Ventures the following year. BAM quickly became one of the top performing VC funds in Los Angeles as the best entrepreneurs in the consumer space came to BAM for capital as well as the experience of the partners in scaling very large businesses. Among their “wins,” BAM invested in Honey Science Corp. at a pre-seed/seed stage, which sold to PayPal Holdings Inc. for $4 billion. Gaming company Scopely sold for $5 billion to Savy Games and high-end cat litter firm PrettyLitter Inc. was bought out by Mars Inc. for a high nine-figure price. 

Much like Ohtani can both pitch and hit, Rich (who probably is cringing at the Shohei reference) can both invest and mentor. He put it this way:

“We had a lot of smart friends who came to us to talk about starting their own business,” Rich said. “They had passion and were incredibly smart about solving large problems. The need for capital was always a given but I believe founders ultimately chose to take our money versus from other VC funds because they valued our operational experience in scaling our own companies. We were able to share so much of our scar tissue in terms of the hard lessons we learned as operators and because of this they also knew that we would be a calming voice when they hit their first road bump — which happens to every startup. I love that BAM’s founder-first mentality in supporting entrepreneurs at the earliest stages completely aligns with Sunstone’s own ethos.”

Perfect Fit

As I’ve said here many times before, partnerships providing expertise as well as access to capital are key to The Sunstone Way. That’s why we work so closely with the Long Beach Accelerator and Lair East Labs, where early-stage entrepreneurs get that type of help.

It was clear early on in my talks with Rich that we were speaking the same language. He liked what we were doing and said he wanted to be a part of it. For my part, I was sure his long experience and success would take us to new heights – and push our founder partners to more and more advances.

Many people in our sector of the business world know the name Richard Jun. Now you know a bit about Rich, too. You’ll see his name a lot in the future, walking alongside the entrepreneurs working to enrich our world.

After all, that’s The Sunstone Way.

And as always, be a Sunstone!

John Keisler

CEO & Managing Partner

Sunstone Management, Inc.

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More About Sunstone Management
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California that invests in diverse early-stage technology entrepreneurs who seek to build great companies. We believe in the aspirational power of the American economy to attract and inspire investors and entrepreneurs from throughout the world. We deliver new and exciting opportunities for economic growth through the creation of innovative public-private partnerships, and our unique experience across government, education, and private sectors. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the second quarter of 2023, PitchBook ranked Sunstone the seventh most active early-stage venture capital firm in the country, and 18th overall.

© Sunstone Management Inc., 2024

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