Social-minded Provenance raises $10M

With an eye at advancing society, Provenance Ventures launched a $10 million inaugural fund in August to invest in early stage media and communications companies.

The Los Angeles-based firm says that it invests in innovative companies that leverage social technologies to advance society.

Provenance Ventures founder and Managing Director Bryan Biniak is credited for his work in the media and communications market. He has led the development of at least five startups worldwide, including companies in interactive media, gaming and wireless. Prior to founding Provenance, Biniak served as senior vice president and general manager for AG Interactive, the new media division of American Greetings Corp. Before that, he served as COO for Moviso, where he was a member of the management team that sold the company to InfoSpace in November 2003. Biniak also served as COO of YourMobile and oversaw its sale to Vivendi Universal.

Biniak says he hopes his proactive role in company development will improve people’s lives. “There’s a lot of powerful enhancements that if harnessed could help people take the next leap in living their lives,” he says. He cites, as an example, the rise of social media, such as blogs, as an interest area for the firm. “We’ve lived for decades with linear programming and it’s time to open that up and get more viewpoints,” he says.

Provenance’s first investment is in a broadcast media startup that is still in stealth mode. The firm expects to make between 20 to 40 investments from the fund, investing between $250,000 and $500,000 per company. Biniak raised the fund from five individuals and strategic corporate investors. He expects to hire four to five investment professionals during the next three months. He expects at least one of those people to be a venture capitalist. —Alexander Haislip