Vaughn Crowe was a little hoarse when he took a call this past week with Venture Capital Journal. The raspiness was the result of him talking non-stop with media, colleagues and others about his new full-time gig.
This week, Newark Venture Partners announced that Crowe, a 15-year veteran of the family office Wesray Social Investments, has joined the venture firm as a managing partner.
Crowe, who was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, is no stranger to NVP. He was instrumental in the launch of the firm, founded in 2016, and has served as advisor. The firm has called him a “thought partner” on strategy and investments before adding him to the management team.
Crowe, who started work with the seed-stage venture investor three weeks ago, told VCJ that he is excited about working full time with entrepreneurs and providing alpha for LPs. He also talked about doing more for the Newark community and referenced the Boys & Girls Club of Newark. NVP is committing a portion of its carried interest from its current fund to the nonprofit.
“These are unprecedented times we’re living in,” he said, referring to the pandemic. “But the opportunity in enterprise software at the seed-stage level is tremendous and if anything, the events of the past year have proven out our investment thesis.”
NVP invests in the future of healthcare, digital transformation in supply chain and logistics and in audio/voice technologies. Though based in Newark and a proponent of the city, the firm invests nationwide.
NVP raised $44 million for its inaugural fund, vintage 2017. That fund is fully invested and the firm is currently raising a $100 million targeted second fund, which has reportedly raised $60 million to date. Crowe said he’ll focus his time at NVP on investments and working with LPs to close the second fund.
Crowe said the firm has made seven investments out of Fund II so far, including Mira, a subscription-based, health benefit provider, and Agilis, a digital commerce software developer for the chemicals industry. Crowe noted that about half of the firm’s portfolio includes companies led by female entrepreneurs or people of color.
“I’ve known Newark Venture Partners for a long time and I’m excited to help continue building its reputation of working with entrepreneurs and supporting the local community,” he said.
The firm boasts a number of high-profile partners and LPs, which include corporates and high-net-worth individuals. Among the LPs are Audible (an Amazon Company), Dun & Bradstreet, Fidelco Realty Group, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Prudential Financial, RWJBarnabas Health, TD Bank and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
Crowe becomes the firm’s third managing partner, joining Dan Borok and Tom Wisniewski. Rounding out the investment team are principals Allison Williams and Joanne Lin.