Finance exec flowers with fintech-focused fund

Altari founder Anna Garcia previously spent 17 years in institutional finance at Merrill Lynch, Jeffries & Company and JPMorgan.

Woman-led Altari Ventures has held a final close on $5.25 million for its debut fund to invest in B2B fintech and enterprise SaaS startups at the pre-seed and seed stages.

Anna Garcia, Altari Ventures

“I’m very interested in vertical platforms where the ‘fin’ is as heavy as the tech,” Anna Garcia, founder and managing partner of the New York-based firm, told Venture Capital Journal. “I really lean into the financial industry experience I have, which helps me spot some very unique opportunities, specifically at that early moment in the company’s development.”

Altari, which takes its name from a type of lily, is a natural progression of Garcia’s career. She got her start in institutional finance, spending 17 years across various senior roles at Merrill Lynch and Jeffries & Company, most recently serving as a managing director in the private banking division of JPMorgan. Garcia made the move to venture as an angel investor in 2014, then joined Runway Venture Partners as a general partner in 2016 to learn how structured venture firms operate.

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For her first run as a solo GP, Garcia began fundraising in January 2022 and held a first close on $4.9 million the following May. Her fund employs “industry standard” terms and has an LP base made up of high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

“Within those categories I was fortunate to have a number of LPs from my fund [at Runway] that followed me and I was very honored to have their capital commitment, especially in this market,” she said. “I also have a couple of entrepreneurs that I’d previously backed that were in a position to back me, and I had a whole host of my former Wall Street colleagues who came in as LPs.”

She declined to reveal the names of LPs. A regulatory filing showed that Altari had raised $4.9 million from 20 investors, for an average commitment of $245,000, as of May 19.

Garcia told VCJ that she didn’t have a set target for her fund, focusing instead on speed to market.

“Just like I tell my founders they need to have a minimum viable product, I had a minimum viable fund size, and that was somewhere around $4 million to $5 million,” she explained. “I wasn’t going to hold up my fund close or any action on the investment side until the world improved or things got to a certain point.”

Altari already had four deals lined up at the time of its first close in May 2022, two of which were personally pre-funded by Garcia herself. Now the firm has completed 15 investments in North America-based companies.

Included in those investments are Micruity, a fintech infrastructure company that aims to improve retirement income security; Otonomi, a blockchain-enabled platform for streamlining processes for cargo insurance policies; and Tradewell Technologies, a trading and portfolio management platform used to automate institutional fixed-income trading.

Garcia said that Altari and Runway are like “sister funds” because they target the same industries at different stages, and that while she is still active on the boards of some of the companies she invested in while at Runway, all of her dealflow and sourcing activity has shifted to Altari.

Garcia said she chose her firm’s name to differentiate it. It is named after the Altari lily, which produces large, star-shape flowers of white and magenta.

“I guess I’ve worked in the corporate world long enough that I didn’t feel like another skyscraper, another bridge or another mountain in my logo was something that I really wanted to add,” she said. “Personally, [the Altari lily] was present at some interesting and important milestones in my life and I felt it was an appropriate name to pull into this next endeavor.”