2022 Year in Review

With the holidays behind us and 2022 coming to a close, our team at Newark Venture Partners is reflecting on the past 12 months.  The past year was a turbulent one for the macro economy and presented a lot of change in the venture industry, but we have built our platform for both strong and challenging environments.  We continue to believe that the best way of investing at the seed stage is to use our network of engaged corporations and corporate leaders as LPs, to access insights on enterprise buying patterns that allow us to focus on software companies building products that will have a market fit.  We believe pairing corporate insights with a focus on finding the best founders building in a space we find compelling, is a great way to invest in outperformers.

In 2022 we continued to lean into this thesis to partner with promising founders innovating in fintech, digital health, and audio.  Highlights include Quiltt, the low code fintech infrastructure business, which launched with a $4M Seed in TechCrunch, and Handspring - a hybrid behavioral health clinic for children and families that launched with a $6.2M Seed round in Business Insider. We also made new investments into ABF Creative, an award-winning, Newark-based podcast production business aiming to increase content for multicultural audiences, as well as Walnut’s Series A (covered in TechCrunch).

We celebrated several cash-generating exits - most notably Podsights (acquired by Spotify) - which continue to validate our thematic and corporate network-driven approach to investing.  We remain enthusiastic about all of our founders as they continue to grow, receive recognition in the press, and score significant follow-on funding. New financings in 2022 included Optimal Dynamics (Series B), StrongArm (Series B), Resilia (Series B), FleetOps (Series A), Mobot (Series A), Caibermind (Series A), Veritonic (Series A), and Gearflow (Series A).   Other accolades from the portfolio this year include SeamlessAI being named a Top 10 LinkedIn StartUp, while PeduL founders Chisa Egbelu and Kayla Jackson were named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list. 

In addition to our investments, we also looked inward. We are extremely excited to have welcomed Kiswana Browne and Chika Ogele to our NVP family.  With experience in venture, startups, and finance - Kiswana and Chika have already proved themselves to be important voices within our investment committee. We’ve also promoted Sean Simons to Senior Associate where he will continue to build out our sourcing practices and grow our network in supply chain and marketplaces.

Our team also took some time last month to consider our current investment themes and what new areas hold promise for early-stage capital.  In 2023, we look forward to diving further into startups in new niche themes such as manufacturing productivity, B2B marketplaces, and fintech in offline industries - in addition to our continued focus on digital health, audio, and supply chain. Our mission - to invest in seed-stage B2B software companies based on thematically oriented convictions, reinforced by industry insights and relationships - continues to guide us as we explore new opportunities and industries ripe for growth.

Finally, we are extremely grateful for the many opportunities we’ve had to connect with our Newark community. Vaughn accepted the honor of joining the Board of the New Jersey Devils Youth Foundation and moderated a widely praised panel of our creation at the SALT 2022 conference on improving access to capital for diverse founders and managers with speakers from Cambridge Associates, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Wellington Management.  Dan was named a 2022 Thought Leader by New Jersey Business Magazine, and Tom was recognized for his contribution to an NJIT project to innovate solutions for homelessness.  As a team, we continue to cheer on our friends at the Boys and Girls Club of Newark, where Vaughn was recently honored, and at Newark Working Kitchens, where we made a contribution this holiday season to help them continue funding area restaurants to cook and deliver nutritious meals to those in need.

As we prepare to kick off 2023, we wish to thank our team, our LPs, and our wider community for their support and friendship.   We are grateful for all that you do, and we look forward to continuing our work together next year. 

1 Washington Park, 7th Floor Newark, NJ 07102

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