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Vaughn Crowe Joins Newark Venture Partners as Managing Partner

Crowe Joins NVP from Ray Chambers’ Wesray Social Investments to Lead Investments for Firm’s Second Fund

Newark Venture Partners (NVP), a leading seed-stage venture firm, specializing in B2B software, and committed to catalyzing the tech ecosystem in Newark, announced that Vaughn Crowe has joined the firm as a Managing Partner. Crowe will be part of the management team, leading new investments out of NVP II, the firm’s second fund, and putting his operating experience to work in support of the larger NVP portfolio and its diverse body of founders.

Don Katz, founder of NVP, and Founder and chairman of Audible said, “I’m thrilled to welcome Vaughn to the cause. A Newark native with deep knowledge of the business, government and philanthropic sectors, and someone I began to work with to advance Newark’s comeback story more than a decade ago, Vaughn will help accelerate NVP’s meaningful support for innovation, investment, and equitable growth in the city.”

“Joining NVP is like coming home,” said Crowe. “I was born and raised in Newark and have a history of working closely with the NVP team. I believe deeply that NVP’s approach to investing within thematic areas of focus like healthtech will solve some of today’s most pressing business challenges. In addition, the firm’s commitment to economic development in Newark aligns with work I’ve done throughout my career and I look forward to ensuring that the community participates in the success and growth of the firm.”

Newark Venture Partners is focused on building a leading tech ecosystem in Newark, which is even more important as companies navigate the changing nature of work and explore new places to build businesses. To further its commitment to Newark’s growth and the next generation of entrepreneurs, NVP will build a program, committing a portion of Fund II carried interest to the hardworking students at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark, an organization critical to the development of Newark’s children and its future, and one personally important to Crowe. NVP is also committed to supporting diverse founders from all backgrounds, having recently been named in Crunchbase’s “Top 10” list of VC’s supporting Black and Latinx founders. Currently, 56% of NVP portfolio companies are founded by a female founder or a founder of color.

Crowe was instrumental in the launch of Newark Venture Partners and has contributed over the years as a thought partner on strategy and investments. He is a long-time advisor for Ray Chambers’ family office, Wesray Social Investments LP, and brings to NVP over 15 years of transaction sourcing and execution, portfolio management and governance and deep community involvement. Crowe previously served on the board of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (appointed by then-Mayor, now Senator Cory Booker), and currently serves as vice-chair of Newark Beth Israel Hospital, and on the New Jersey State Investment Council. In addition, he serves as chairman of Princess House Inc., a consumer products company and sits on the board of Blue Note Restaurant Group.

Ray Chambers, a Newark native, founder of Wesray Capital, philanthropist, global humanitarian and influential mentor to Crowe commented, “Vaughn’s stewardship at Wesray Social is indicative of his ability to recognize value and long-term promise. I share Vaughn’s belief in NVP, and the opportunity to build a leading B2B software-focused venture firm. I am also encouraged by the diversity of its portfolio investments and its team. Adding Vaughn to their team simply elevates their existing competitive advantage.”

Vaughn joins NVP as the firm continues to grow to take advantage of the significant opportunity in B2B software investing. NVP has developed robust investment themes around the future of healthcare, digital transformation in supply chain and logistics and the growth of the soundscape in audio/voice. NVP’s recent investments include Mira, a subscription-based, basic health benefit provider targeting the 80M+ uninsured and underinsured individuals in the U.S.; Meet Cute, a platform for scalable audio content creation; and Agilis, digital commerce software for the chemicals industry.

“As we double down in 2021 on the thematic areas where we see the most opportunity, Vaughn’s investing experience and operational knowledge in areas like healthcare and supply chain will be a tremendous asset to our team,” said Dan Borok, managing partner of NVP. “At NVP we are committed to making great investments, generating market-rate returns, and supporting our community – we know that these three are not mutually exclusive. We welcome Vaughn as our partner in this mission, as we further build the brand of Newark Venture Partners.”

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