NVP: $85M Fund II will enable us to invest in more companies — and have greater impact in Newark

Newark Venture Partners is celebrating the close of NVP Fund II — one with a size ($85 million) that will enable NVP to invest more money (up to $3 million) in more companies and do so while feeding one of the primary purposes of the group: Giving back to the city of Newark.

NVP Fund II includes an expansion of the group’s investor base to include leading institutional investors, including the Ford Foundation, Dodge Foundation and Rutgers endowment. The fund also added family office investors representing leaders in various industries, as well as renewed commitments from its corporate investment partners such as Audible, RWJBarnabas Health, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Fidelco and Prudential.

NVP, in a blog to its investor community, said the limited partners add to the uniqueness of the group.

“We look to our LPs to help inform our view of technology trends impacting large vertical markets and corporate software buying patterns,” it wrote. “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.”

It also leads to more opportunities to give back.

NVP officials said the group is rededicating itself to making meaningful contributions to the community. A portion of Fund II carried interest to the Boys & Girls Club of Newark. This effort continues NVP’s longstanding 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.

The hope is that these community efforts will create more entrepreneurs in the community.

“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,” the fund wrote.

Of course, building companies always will be the focus.

NVP said it will now lead or participate in seed rounds with investments up to $3 million — and that it already has made a number of seed investments from Fund II in companies it feels have the potential to change their respective industries.

The fund’s most recent investment, Pair Team, is attempting to bring a solution to a real-world problem by using machine learning to improve operations for primary care doctors supporting the Medicaid population.

NVP officials also point to Fund II investments in Optimal Dynamics, Clockwork Logistics, Podsights, BackboneAI, Gearflow, Wax Insurance and Meet Cute.

NVP, which was created five years ago, feels it is perfectly positioned to generate oversize returns that have oversized impact.

“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,” it said.