Growth-stage investor Edison Partners promotes Ford to GP

Longtime marketing executive Kelly Ford joined the Princeton, N.J., firm in 2014 to lead its Edison Edge value-added services platform.

It’s safe to say that Kelly Ford had a very good holiday party at Edison Partners.

During the firm’s celebration last month, Managing Partner Chris Sugden said a few words and announced to staff that Kelly Ford was promoted to general partner.

“I was a bit surprised, but excited, too,” Ford told Venture Capital Journal.

The growth equity investor is officially announcing Ford’s promotion today. She becomes the sixth GP at the firm, joining Sugden, Michael Kopelman, Lenard Marcus, Tom Vander Schaaff and Ryan Ziegler.

Ford joined Edison Partners in 2014 as partner and chief marketing officer. She previously worked at B2B software companies for two decades, including most recently at SundaySky, where she served as vice president of marketing. In joining Edison Partners more than five years ago, Ford took on a newly created role and was responsible for the firm’s Edison Edge value-added services platform, advising portfolio companies on sales and marketing and other aspects of growth.

Ford told VCJ that the role expanded and she began to join boards as an observer and also led investments. In her new role as GP, Ford says she will look at enterprise software and fintech companies. Her fintech focus includes payment companies as well as lending and insurtech opportunities.

While traveling in Boston last week, where she was visiting a company she hoped Edison Partners could invest in, Ford recounted one deal she oversaw for the firm. In April 2018, Edison Partners invested in Suuchi, a North Bergen, New Jersey, provider of a supply chain platform used by fashion brands and retailers.

Edison, which typically makes growth-stage investments, led the company’s $8 million Series A round, Suuchi’s  first institutional round of funding. Ford also joined the board.

She also sits on the board of directors for Blue Medora, ExecVision and Kinetiq in addition to Suuchi. Other active investments include Bento for Business, Emplify, LawnStarter and Terminus.

As for her focus on fintech investing, Ford led Edison’s recent exit of the Hamilton, New Jersey-based accounts receivables automation provider Billtrust for an 11X return and remains an independent board member for the fintech company.

“It’s a privilege and an exciting time to do what we do,” Ford said in a prepared release. “The year ahead presents immense opportunity for the private capital and fintech industries.”

Ford said she would also be involved in the firm’s next fund, which will be its 10th. The firm raised $365 million for its ninth and oversubscribed fund in late 2018.