New Colorado-based Investment Firm Ganesh Capital Looking for Deals

4/10/14Follow @MichaelXBD

Colorado entrepreneurs take note—there’s a new investment firm in town, and its founders want to place substantial bets on startups working to make positive social change, including tech companies.

Ganesh Capital is a Boulder, CO-based firm looking to make investments between $50,000 and $5 million. Co-founder Marc Nemer said the firm would concentrate on startups “we think are doing progressive and innovative things from a socially conscious standpoint.”

That could describe a lot of startups in Boulder in many different industries, and Nemer said Ganesh Capital won’t limit itself to one sector or geographical area. But he did say it would place an emphasis on tech startups.

Nemer is new in town, and relatively new to the world of angel investing and venture capital. But he does have an impressive track record in the real estate world, where he was CEO of Cole Real Estate Investments. During his eight years there, Nemer built the firm into a company with $15 billion in assets and a market capitalization of $7 billion.

Cole went public in 2013 before being acquired in October in a $6.85 billion deal.

“This would be a new path,” Nemer said. “I’ve worked with startups, and I’ve worked with venture capital firms, but this would be the first foray into doing it as a principal on the VC side.”

On its website, Ganesh Capital describes itself as a venture capital firm, but there are a couple ways the firm differs from the conventional model. First, Nemer and his wife and co-founder Emily are putting up their own money, which is a hallmark of angel investing.

“We do have a small number of private investors that are going to be working with us, but we’re not raising third-party capital. We’re going to be deploying our own capital,” Nemer said.

Nemer thinks there will be benefits to working without limited partners.

“From our perspective, that will allow us to be more nimble and able to act quicker and be more flexible in the terms we can offer to our partners as well.”

Nemer doesn’t plan to go it alone, though, and would like to partner with other investors.

“We’re open to anything, but I would expect some of our early investments would be participating in rounds with other venture capital firms in the area,” he said.

Nemer also indicated that Ganesh Capital will not have a fund structured to invest a set amount of money over a limited time before it expects returns. That’s another difference between Ganesh Capital and venture capital firms.

Before his career in real estate, Nemer was an attorney with Latham & Watkins and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which are two of the biggest corporate law firms in the country. He specialized in mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings, including IPOs, and he also worked with companies trying to raise money.

“I did work with a number of startups in my prior life on raising angel capital and trying to go public,” he said.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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  • V Tyree

    4 11 2014 I am very happy for the Nemers. All, the best to them. Be well. Cordially, Virginia