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2023: A Year in Review

Vaughn Crowe

Vaughn Crowe

2023: A Year in Review

As we enjoy the remainder of the holiday season and wrap up the final days of 2023, the team at newark venture partners is taking a moment to reflect on the dynamic landscape of the past 12 months. In a world where change is the only constant, both in the macroeconomy and the venture industry, we’ve solidified our foundation to thrive in all conditions. 

Today’s challenges are multifaceted, with current geopolitical conflicts casting a shadow of uncertainty over the market. The ripple effects of these conflicts manifest in reduced consumer and corporate spending, along with significant constraints on growth-stage financing, which pose formidable obstacles for both startups striving to meet targets and venture firms currently raising capital. The emergence of challenges associated with figures like Sam Bankman-Fried, the intricate issues faced by OpenAI, and the unfortunate closures of several notable venture-backed companies underscore the volatile and unpredictable nature of the current venture landscape. However, our commitment to partnering with exceptional founders pioneering enterprise software businesses remains resolute. Throughout 2023, we continued to demonstrate that our deep corporate insights, robust operational support, and extensive network of forward-thinking corporations and LPs are of significant value to the teams we’ve backed. We take great pride in the support we deliver for our portfolio companies, and we look forward to furthering those successes in the coming year and beyond.

We proudly congratulate many of our portfolio companies as they reached noteworthy milestones in 2023, and we welcomed several new founding teams to our community. Those highlights include: 

nvp i:

nvp ii: 

  • Pair Team raised a $9M Series A, as covered in axios
  • We saw 800 deals, and made $10M in new investments, including 5 new core positions in…
  • HomeVision, founded by repeat venture-backed co-founders Jeff Foster and Vincent Chu, who sold their last company to SoFi in the mortgage space. We co-invested with Initialized Capital 
  • Upwellfounded by serial entrepreneurs Charley Dehoney and Aaron Freeman. We led this seed round with participation from SaaS ventures and Rise of the Rest.
  • Vulcan, founded by a former Naval Officer from the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and Harvard Business School MBA candidate. We co-led this over-subscribed seed round.
  • Mesh, nvp’s first “round trip” investment. Founders, who returned to us after successfully selling BowTie (a Fund I investment) to MindBody in 2019.
  • Volition’s $11M Seed, co-led with Quiet Capital as covered in TechCrunch.
  • Two pre-seed investments were featured in Fortune Magazine and Venture Beat.
  • Walnut, Handspring and Zaya were named on the New York Digital Health 100.

In addition to the growth within our portfolio, Dan was featured as a speaker during Money 20/20, opining on B2B fintech. At the same time, Tom traveled to Berlin to participate in the leading B2B Marketplace Conference. Vaughn helped Pair Team achieve its Series A with NEXT Ventures, leveraged his healthcare experience to help Handspring secure a substantial relationship to expand its behavioral health services, and spoke on several panels as an ambassador for emerging and diverse managers. Our entire team was active during Newark and New York Tech Weeks.

Apart from our distinctive investment practices, our commitment to the community is a hallmark of our team. Throughout 2023, we continued to support the great work of the Boys and Girls Club Newark. We cheered on our New Jersey Devils, New Jersey’s only professional sports team, with Vaughn and the Board of the New Jersey Devils Youth Foundation, which creates and expands youth programs through strategic partnerships with community organizations. Our team also supported Vaughn in a personal effort to run his first–ever marathon in Chicago, during which he raised $13,000 for Greater Newark LifeCamp – a meaningful tribute to his very first job.

As we look forward to 2024, newark venture partners will continue to build a comprehensive point of view in B2B software and expand our corporate network to enhance opportunities for our portfolio companies. Our strategy, centered on supporting visionary founders innovating groundbreaking initiatives within themes that captivate our attention, remains the compass guiding our path as we seek and pursue new opportunities. We acknowledge that outstanding founders often associate with individuals with innovative perspectives and similar entrepreneurial prowess. As you expand your own networks, please keep in mind that we welcome your introductions and recommendations for exceptional founders. Our goals for the new year are to continue to lead or co-lead seed stage investments, back the highest caliber teams, and provide unwavering support to our portfolio’s winners. 

Finally, we cannot end 2023 without acknowledging one critical loss we had this year. We recently lost Marc Berson, a leader and changemaker in the Newark community. Marc and his family were founding LPs and alongside Don Katz, helped create a strong foundation for our current team to build a world-class venture firm – and we will forever be grateful to him for his support. He will be remembered as a cherished member of our nvp family and will be dearly missed.

We are looking forward with both optimism and gratitude. Moving into 2024, we are armed with ample dry powder to make strategic investments in game-changing businesses led by stellar founders. We are also thrilled to announce a new partnership with Braven, who will receive carried interest in nvp iii. Braven works to solve the education-to-employment gap for low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented college students.

We feel privileged to work with each of you and are proud of all you have accomplished. We are eager to continue our work together and encourage you to reach out on any matter where we can be helpful. We hope you will remain an engaged member of the nvp community and look forward to celebrating your growing successes. 

Thank you for your support and friendship, and we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday and a joyful New Year.

Sincerely,

Dan, Tom, and Vaughn

newark venture partners

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