HOME – http://www.Centrist Capital.com
Collaborative Capital – Exponential Returns on Success
The principals of Centrist Capital have been exceptionally fortunate to both start and fund companies that have done well. Over the last 16 years, we’ve used research to identify and validate niche opportunities created by structural shifts where we can use our expertise, relationships and capital to exponentially increase the odds of a young company’s long-term success.
Simply stated, we thematically invest capital and time in companies where our process-execution expertise, strategic input and relationships increase the probability of achieving outsized returns.
As serial entrepreneurs, our passion is to find and help smart, high integrity, tenacious founders who possess unique domain knowledge that can be used to exploit a niche opportunity in one of Centrist Capital’s investment themes.
We collaborate closely with our portfolio companies – as stakeholders and confidants – to create wealth the portfolio company’s founders, investors and employees.
Who We Are
Centrist Capital is an Austin-based, investment boutique investing in the seed and ‘A’ rounds of young companies within our investment themes. Our firm’s principals, David Wieland and David Dahill have been friends since middle school and business partners since 1998 when they started their first company. Since then, the ‘Daves’ created six successful companies.
Along the way, they cultivated trusted relationships a network of investors, like-mined serial entrepreneurs and executives across a variety of industries. They’re especially grateful to those investors who gave their time, feedback, experience and friendship to ultimately create wealth for David and David and their companies’ stakeholders. These collaborations are the inspiration for Centrist Capital.
The only people who truly understand the plight of an entrepreneur are other entrepreneurs! It’s simultaneously scary and exhilarating knowing that missing a target by even a small margin can spell failure and getting is right may result in significant wealth creation. This dynamic, and the day-to-day tactical struggle of working with limited resources may often cloud the strategic objectivity of a founding team. This is why the fresh perspectives, relationships and the specialized skill sets of trusted advisors are so important.
Centrist Capital serve act as confidants to their portfolio companies, respecting opinions and encouraging the free flow of ideas. Through experience they’ve been taught that collaborative dialogue and iterative learning dramatically increases the probability of success. They are board members, advisors and co-founder who don’t mind rolling up their sleeves, dedicating the time required to create wealth for all stakeholders.
Our Investment Philosophy
Centrist Capital only considers investments with clear economic alignment, well-defined expectations and a clear relationship between founders, their Board, advisors, investors and employees. Moreover, supply-demand fundamentals must be solid; a go-to-market strategy must be tenable; and extensive market research and internal modeling must evidence returns that justify our investors’ risk.
Our portfolio companies are those who can exploit “trends hiding in plain sight”. That is, significant structural trends in an industry that create market gaps where innovation, market dynamics, regulations, or consumer preferences that are likely to upset the status quo. We currently invest in the following ‘investment themes’:
- Bite-Sized Analytics – companies that facilitate the extraction of useful information from Big Data for specific applications and products.
- Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) – The past twenty years have witnessed a surge in CAM in the U.S. Defined as a “group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine”, the industry addresses alternatives to sky rocketing costs, an aging population and disillusionment with existing healthcare practices.
- Disintermediation – business models that sell their products cheaper and faster by directly dealing with the consumer, eliminating retail channels and/or middlemen.
- General Solicitation – It’s a whole new world out there for those looking for capital and those willing to fund them. For first time in 80 years, the JOBS Act, allows companies to raise capital through a private offering by publicly advertising for funds. Circumventing broker/dealers and financial intermediaries, it represents a sea change in the financial services industry, democratizing the relationship between entrepreneurs/sponsors/borrowers and investors.
- The New Energy Landscape – Technology, public policy, environmental concerns and consumer preferences are dramatically changing the landscape of the electricity and natural gas industries. Continued advances in distributed energy resources (DER) like solar, microturbines and microgrids along with the inevitable integration of affordable batteries will result in a dramatic paradigm shift for the electric utilities. Moreover, the hydraulic cracking creates niche opportunities to exploit the “spark spread” between natural gas and retail electricity prices. Similarly, the 25% to 60% cost difference between liquefied natural gas (LNG) and comparable petroleum distillates creates numerous end uses.
- Opportunistic – Situational niche investment opportunities created by a combination of timing, knowledge and relationships.
- Real Estate Operating Companies –Vertically integrated firms that have significant real estate holding driven by a cohesive investment strategy and provides the vast majority of services required over the life cycle of those investments.
What We Are Looking For
The single most important factor in evaluating a company’s chances of success is the people involved. Centrist Capital looks for cohesive leadership teams who possess a unique, competitive advantage and demonstrated ability to execute.
Rules of the Road
INTEGRITY (a stellar track record of fair dealing with investors, founders and employees)
RESPECT (mutual respect for all – period.)
Working with INNOVATIVE PEOPLE (surrounding ourselves with the best and brightest)
TEAMWORK (to communicate, create, reward, retain, have fun)
Our focus is SERVICE (giving more than we take as stewards of the gifts we’re given)
Our goal is EXCELLENCE (aim to be the best-in-class in everything we do)
David Wieland, Founder
David has played key roles in approximately $3 billion of capital market and real estate transactions, including $1.25B as a principal. Prior to founding Realized Holdings, he co-founded Mission Residential, a fully integrated, research-driven, multifamily owner-operator. Between 2005 and 2009 when he sold a a controlling interest in Mission Residential, the firm acquired 12,500 units across the Sunbelt, representing a total investment in excess of $1Billion, facilitated by syndicating approximately $375MM in equity from more than 800 high net worth investors.
David also co-founded a series of successful companies including Forward Capital, a structured finance and credit derivative products company involved in the embryonic stages of synthetic securitization, and Convenience Retail Group, the parent company of a start-up REIT and a wholesale gasoline distributor both of which were sold to a publicly held company. Early in his career, David held positions with Security Capital Group, ProLogis, Archstone Communities, Equitable Real Estate (now Morgan Stanley RE) and Arthur Andersen.
David has played various roles in early-stage across a wide variety of industries. His portfolio includes:
• Conceivable (co-founder)
• Energytics (sold in 2013) (lead investor/Board Advisor)
• Forward Capital (controlling interest sold in 2009) (co-founder)
• LookNook (lead investor/advisor
• Mission Residential (controlling interest sold in 2009) (co-founder)
• QuickGifts (lead investor/Board Member)
• Realized Holdings (lead investor / founder)
• Spot LNG (lead investor/co-founder)
• Sum.TV (investor/advisor)
• Memberize (lead investor/Board Member)
• Tabbed Out (investor)
• Vigilant Video (investor)
David is the immediate past chair of the Board of Governors of LifeWorks, the largest community-based charity in Austin. He is actively involved in his church and various other community activities in Austin where he lives with his college sweetheart and wife of 21 years, Laura and their three children. David attended Texas A&M University where he received his MS in Land Economics and Real Estate and BBA in Finance and Real Estate.
David P. Dahill, Co-Founder
Having played key roles in several successful companies, David Dahill is a CPA with a wealth of experience in finance, real estate, financial structuring, accounting, SEC reporting, business process implementation, Internet programming and software design.
He worked for ProLogis and Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) before working for ProLogis. From there, he co-founded Convenience Retail Group, the parent company of a start-up REIT and a wholesale gasoline distributor that were eventually sold to a publicly held company.
He then co-founded Forward Capital, a structured finance and credit derivative products company involved in the embryonic stage of synthetic securitization, and served as its chief financial officer. Lastly, David founded and served as the chief product architect for for MemberizeTM, a SAAS management software platform for membership driven organizations, which currently serves more than 250 clients and eight hundred thousand members worldwide.
Married to his wife of 12 years, Kathleen, David lives in Austin, TX with their four children and is actively involved in the Boy Scouts of America and his church. David attended Texas A&M University where he received his BBA in Accounting.
“David is a great business partner. He is a thoughtful and keen-minded investor. But it is his pragmatism and ability to hit the ground running that sets him apart. This comes from an uncanny ability to map a rich experience set to the urgent day-to-day issues faced by a fledging business.”
“As a first time founder of an investment backed company, there were many things I needed to learn throughout the lifecycle of a startup. Fortunately I got the privilege of working with David Wieland. His wealth of experience with capital structuring and deal formation along with his leadership, commitment to our success, and his even keeled nature to working through challenges not only accelerated our success but also enhanced our vision during every pivotal turn of the business. There is no doubt in my mind that our venture would not have achieved our current level of success without David’s financial, personal, and strategic contributions.”
“We never made a nickel for Centrist, and David was a joy to work with anyway!”
“David is what I consider a true mentor and advisor to an entrepreneur. He taps into the essence of real challenges, while listening without ego, and then applying actual productive recommendations that lead to a successful milestone. I have great appreciation for all that he has helped me see and how he supports this process that only a true entrepreneur can understand.”
“David was instrumental in the evolution of Energytics by not only leading the initial group of angel investors representing ~90% of seed round, but provided corporate, board level, leadership that ultimately made Energytics a successful start-up. David went above and beyond my expectations as he spent significant amount of time and energy on strategy as we pivoted Energytics and was instrumental in negotiating our exit. Finally, and most importantly, as my first foray into founding a new company he was available to me as a mentor and voice of reason as he taught me the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.
“David got his feet wet investing in start up companies years and years ago and I was fortunate enough to be part of a fledgling company that captured his imagination and sparked his interest as a early stage investor. His availability and support through out the 10 years we’ve been in business now, has not wavered. His knack for quickly understanding and affectively involving himself in multiple business models is really special. Drawing from his business principles and historically successful business strategies, he is a super keen investing partner providing leadership, motivation, and perspective. When things are tough and when they are opportunistic. David is just fun and exciting to be around. I couldn’t be more thankful.”