Tl;dr: Our investor base is bigger, better and more engaged than ever before, our team is stronger and more diverse, we are doubling down on thematic investment opportunities all over the country, and we are giving back to the Newark community.
Newark Venture Partners started out just 5 years ago on a mission to make great investments, generate oversized returns and give back to the city of Newark. Today, not only have we proven that we can do those three things well and simultaneously, but we’ve refined our model with a laser focus on early-stage companies solving real-world business challenges using software and data. As we turn the page to NVP’s second chapter with the close of our sophomore fund at $88M ( doubling our first fund) we will continue deploying capital nationally and in markets where we have strong networks and market leadership in our corner, such as healthtech and supply chain.
An exciting facet of NVP Fund II is the expansion of our investor base to include leading institutional investors such as the Ford Foundation, Dodge Foundation, and Rutgers endowment. We are also excited to have added high-quality family office investors representing leaders in various industries, as well as renewed commitments from our corporate investment partners such as Audible (an Amazon Company), RWJBarnabas Health, NJ EDA, Fidelco, and Prudential. As you know, our Limited Partners are a big part of what makes our approach unique. We look to our LPs to help inform our view of technology trends impacting large vertical markets and corporate software buying patterns. This helps us focus on investment research efforts and validate products prior to investment. Post-investment, it means our founders get valuable feedback from the market, while our LPs get a front-row seat to the newest solutions in the arena, and we get expert insight at the intersection of demand, innovation, and opportunity. Now, with nearly 40 investors, our ability to draw upon real-time market data and connect our founders with corporate decision-makers is greater than ever.
Our team has gotten bigger and better too. With Newark-native, Vaughn Crowe joining our team as a Managing Partner this year, and Joanne Lin and Allison Williams having been promoted to Principals, our Investment Committee debates are lively and the perspectives around the table are varied and rooted in a diverse set of experiences.
This sophomore fund represents growth all around – but perhaps most significantly, it means a growth in check size. We will now lead or participate in seed rounds with investments up to $3M. We have already made a number of seed investments from Fund II focused around our core investment roadmaps and with the belief that we have invested in extraordinary founders who are building businesses that have the potential to change their respective industries. Our most recent investment – in Pair Team – is a great example of what we look for in founders and their companies. With experience in the market (they were early employees at Forward, a market leader in digital health), they are solving a real world problem by using machine learning to improve operations for primary care doctors supporting the Medicaid population. Other exciting Fund II investments so far include Optimal Dynamics, Clockwork Logistics, Podsights, BackboneAI, Gearflow, Wax Insurance and Meet Cute.
Finally, with the launch of its sophomore fund, NVP is rededicating itself to making meaningful contributions to the community, and to the development of Newark’s future by committing a portion of Fund II carried interest to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark. This effort continues NVP’s long standing mission to fuel Newark’s revitalization, encourage its next generation of diverse entrepreneurs, and catalyze the local tech ecosystem. The Fund has ongoing partnerships with the All Stars of New Jersey, the Black Venture Capital Consortium, and the Black and Latino Angel Investment Fund, as well as several colleges and universities supplying the east coast talent network. These are partnerships that make us better as a Fund, create more opportunity within Newark, and generate a different type of return – in the form of eager and inspired entrepreneurs motivated to solve problems for the next generation in Newark and beyond.
Simply, Fund II is an opportunity to continue to do what we love – and what we are good at: make investments in great founders and brilliant B2B companies, generate returns, and support a city that we have all come to adore. We are proud to be aligned with how many of our founders and partners think about the world, and we are excited to continue to grow as a team, as a fund, as a community.