A new venture capital company is making a name for itself in downtown Ann Arbor, Augment Ventures
The 1-year-old investment firm has more than doubled its capital under management since it opened, raising 15 percent of its first fund which it originally targeted to be $20 million. It has expanded to four people and is looking at adding interns later this year. It has also made one investment, getting ready to announce two more investments later this summer and is doing due diligence on four more. On top of that it is working on partnering with larger out-of-state VCs.
"Not only are we participating in some of the most attractive venture deals in Michigan but we are able to attract some other out-of-state firms, too," says Sonali Vijayavargiya
, managing director & founder of Augment Ventures.
Vijayavargiya co-founded Augment Ventures with Becky Davenport
and Eric Halverson
. Vijayavargiya, who is based in Ann Arbor, has 15 years experience in project finance, investment banking and venture investing, and has her own venture advisory practice called Augment Capital.
focuses on cleantech and IT start-ups, and its first investment went to Aperia Technologies
. The San Francisco-based start-up is developing an automatic tire inflation device that should increase gas mileage, safety, tire life and profit margins (by 30 percent) in fleet operators.
"That company is doing very, very well," Vijayavargiya
says. "It's getting a lot of traction in the market."
She adds that the churn in the clean-tech and IT sectors has created a bevy of investment opportunities. She expects to make seven or eight new investments by the end of next year.
"We have 3-4 investments we will do this year," Vijayavargiya says. "There will be another four next year."
Source: Sonali Vijayavargiya, managing director & founder of Augment Ventures
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.