Elevate Capital, Oregon’s first institutional venture capital fund that supports inclusion and diversity by targeting underserved entrepreneur investments—such as women, LGBTQ, immigrants, and ethnic minorities—is raising a second fund.
Three new general partners who have operational experience taking companies from startups to successful exits have joined the investment team.
The $40 million venture Capital Fund II will inject four times the amount of capital into regional and national startups and dramatically increase access to capital for underrepresented founders. See how Elevate Capital is making this inclusive Fund II happen. Learn more about the Elevate Capital Fund II in our featured video shown below.
Elevate Capital Fund I Sets Building Blocks for Fund II
Elevate Capital’s clear-cut focus on supporting the underserved entrepreneur through committed mentorship through all stages of the investment cycle has been the backbone of its Fund I success. Since the Fund I launched in 2016, Elevate Capital has returned almost 40% of its investment to investors and created more than 500 jobs (300+ in Oregon).
As part of Fund I, Elevate Capital not only invested $1 million in GrowthPlug, a Silicon Valley-based healthcare practice growth and optimization software-as-a-service (SAAS) startup, it was instrumental in guiding GrowthPlug to relocate its company headquarters to Beaverton, Oregon in December 2019. The successes and hardships of Fund I now progress into Fund II.
“Nitin always has the ‘entrepreneur first’ mindset, which I have valued throughout our experience. He is a cash flow master, said Allie Magyar, Founder and CEO of Hubb, an event management solution. “Nitin and the Elevate Capital team have been alongside us for two years now—from the start of our journey to where we are now. I credit a lot of that to Nitin’s mentorship and guidance throughout the process.”
Fund II will continue to provide strong mentorship and guidance to new and existing portfolio companies. Based on the investment exit success with RFPIO, co-founded by Ganesh Shankar, and Garden Bar by Evergreens, founded by Ana Chaud, Elevate Capital will continue its mission to support underserved entrepreneurs and provide inclusive venture capital with a specialized focus in healthcare and technology.
Elevate Capital General Partner Team Guides and Mentors Entrepreneurs to Success
To make the inclusive venture capital fund happen, three new entrepreneurs who have extensive operational experience will collaborate with Nitin Rai, Elevate Capital Founder and Managing Partner. Meet the venture capital team who will help startup founders build generational wealth, provide mentorship, a network, and education.
Nitin Rai (Founder and Managing Partner), Jill Nelson (Managing Partner), Raghu Raghavan (Managing Partner), and Kumar Sripadam (Managing Partner)
“I started Elevate Capital because I saw an opportunity gap for underserved entrepreneurs who had a hard time accessing early-stage capital. I’m excited to bring in three new General Partners, where we will use our passion and energy to help the next generation of underrepresented entrepreneurs.”
Nitin Rai is a highly successful entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He has invested in more than 100 startups since 2011, personally and through the Elevate Capital Fund.
Nitin served as the Chairman of the TiE Global Board of Trustees in 2019. He is also Chair of TiE Global Angels to help entrepreneurs across the globe get funding from TiE Charter members. Since 2007, he has been an active angel investor, mentor, and a founding charter member and President of the Board of TiE Oregon.
Since 1994, Nitin is the Founder, President, and CEO of First Insight Corporation—a highly successful optometry and ophthalmology electronic health records (EHR) and practice management software, and revenue cycle management company that is based in Hillsboro, Oregon, and Pune, India. First Insight Corporation is a leader in the eye care industry with its flagship product MaximEyes.
“There’s mentorship, and then there’s mentorship by strong operators who have been there and done that. With Elevate Capital, you have past leaders of Oregon’s great companies—we are all investing back into the entrepreneurship ecosystem.”
Jill Nelson founded Ruby, a live virtual receptionist and chat company, and grew it to 630 employees and 10,000 customers before handing over the reins. Under Jill’s leadership, Ruby holds the record-breaking position as one of Oregon’s fastest-growing companies for 12 consecutive years and was repeatedly named a top 5 places to work in the U.S. by Fortune Magazine.
Jill was a Pacific NW 2017 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and was named the 2017 Oregon Technology Executive of the Year—the first woman to receive this recognition. Jill sits on the board of Ruby and is an Operating Advisor for Updata Partners. She is also a board member of TiE Oregon.
Jill is developing the Elevate Capital mentorship program and she will work closely with five executive partners: Nat Parker (Moovel founder), Ana Chaud (Garden Bar founder), Michael Choi (Axiom founder and CTO), Ketan Sampat (CafeGive founder), and Chris Bright (Zapproved co-founder and CMO).
“Every General Partner with Elevate Capital has been a successful entrepreneur. We’re able to move quickly with our streamlined evaluation system. When we invest, we’re committed to digging in and helping the companies we invest in.”
Raghu Raghavan is the Founder and CEO of Act-On Software, a powerful marketing automation solution. He scaled the company from the proverbial garage to one of the fastest-growing private companies in America, with offices in Oregon (Portland), California, London, and India. He was named the 2015 Tech CEO of the Year by the Portland Business Journal.
Previously, Raghu was the Co-founder of Responsys, a pioneering marketing technology company that went public (NASDAQ: MKTG) in 2011 and was acquired by Oracle in 2013 for $1.5 billion. Raghu serves on the boards of Act-On Software, RFPIO, and TiE Oregon.
“We strive to return what is promised, if not more. With Elevate Capital’s involvement, we envision startup companies going further and achieving super success in a timely manner.”
Kumar Sripadam is a technology entrepreneur, business consultant, investor, and mentor with more than 30 years of experience. He was a founding member of Redback Networks, a hugely successful IPO company. Kumar has held several senior and executive positions in various startups.
Kumar is an executive board member of Arc Angel Fund, NYC, and is involved with several venture and angel funds. He served on the boards of Incentive Logic and MetaCert.
He is an advisor at Moesif and True Lark. As an active investor, he has invested in more than 70 companies with many successful exits. He is also a mentor and an advisor at many Silicon Valley accelerators and incubators. He is the Chair for TiE Angels Silicon Valley and a board member of TIE Silicon Valley.
Fund II Drives the Next Generation of Aspiring Underserved Entrepreneurs
Elevate Capital is committed to driving the best possible outcomes from its portfolio companies from sourcing the best startup founders, to comprehensive diligence, and then partnering startups with the best mentors.
The new general partner team consists of successful entrepreneurs and operators who have built leading companies and encountered the challenges of growing a business as minority and female founders. The partners will strive to support, guide, and help startups grow into successful companies. This powerful group of collaborators continues to build on the mission of Elevate Capital with Fund II, and providing inclusive venture capital and guidance entrepreneurs need to succeed.