NEW YORK – Adam Dell’s Impact Venture Management LLC recently hired Rene Benedetto as a principal to invest in early-stage business-to-business e-commerce companies in the Northeast.
The former CIBC Capital Partners director was chosen from a group of close to 100 candidates because of her extensive background as an Internet investor, said Dell, the firm’s founder and managing general partner.
During her one and a half years at CIBC, Benedetto backed late-stage Internet and telecommunications deals such as GoAmerica Inc., Urbanfetch.com Inc. and Vitamins.com Inc., but she yearned for a more hands-on opportunity to help build companies. Joining a traditional early-stage VC firm like Impact gave her just that.
In her new role, Benedetto will be directly involved with the firm’s portfolio companies, sourcing deals and assisting with due diligence. She also will help with hiring and shaping the firm’s business strategy, she said.
While working toward an MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Benedetto worked as a strategic consultant at Baine & Co. Prior to that, she spent four years at NationsBank, initially as an analyst in the investment banking group and then evaluating investments in the venture capital group.
Launched late last year, Impact invests in early-stage business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce plays, as well as application service providers and content infrastructure companies in the Northeast. The firm is investing its first fund, the $100 million Impact Venture Partners LP, which closed earlier this year and is 40% committed to 13 companies, Dell said (VCJ, March, page 22). Its portfolio includes iMark.com Inc., an online marketplace for surplus capital equipment, which was acquired in March by FreeMarkets Inc., and wireless Internet service provider GoAmerica, which filed to go public in January.
Dell also recently hired a chief technology officer to evaluate investment opportunities and help portfolio companies with technology platform decisions, and it also added an entrepreneur in residence.