RosePaul Ventures: Investment Focus | RosePaul Team Bios
RosePaul Ventures is a seed-stage investor in technology-driven start-ups. Based in New York City, RosePaul Partner Tom Wisniewski is an active member of the NYC venture community. Tom is an adviser and mentor to founders, start-ups, and growth-stage companies. He serves as a board director for the New York Angels, an early-stage investment group. He is a frequent speaker at tech start-up events and conferences, and teaches fundraising and entrepreneurship at General Assembly in NYC.
RosePaul Ventures is the proprietary investment fund for Tom Wisniewski and the RosePaul Investments family office. In addition to direct venture investments, RosePaul is a Limited Partner in several VC and PE funds.
RosePaul Ventures: Investment Focus
RosePaul Ventures (RPV) focuses on software enabled businesses. Typically this means ventures:
- That leverage available software technology to solve a business problem, or to enable a new consumer business.
- Where software will be a key driver of differentiation and advantage, along with important innovations in the business model. The combination creates a meaningful competitive advantage.
- That are focused on disrupting a market that is attractive; usually some combination of: fast growing, where software innovation hasn’t (yet) impacted it, perhaps a sleepy old line industry.
- Examples: B2B Saas platforms, disruptive consumer marketplaces. See the Portfolio for specific examples of our investments.
- RosePaul is NOT an active investor in tech hardware, brick & mortar retail, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, biotech, cleantech, oil wells, Caribbean real estate, or cold fusion.
- RosePaul invests in companies with US legal structure and market focus (e.g a Delaware C-Corp., key management based in the US, and where the US market is a primary one.)
RosePaul Ventures typically invests at the Seed-Stage alongside angel investors and early stage VC funds. Although there are no firm boundaries, from a financing stand point Seed-Stage for software enabled ventures is generally characterized by:
- Pre-money valuations of $5M or less
- Fund raising rounds of $500K to $1.5M
- Prior funding from friends & family, or individual angels.
- Co-investors are typically individual angels, angel groups, and seed-stage VC funds.
- Seed-Stage funding rounds typical occur several years before traditional Series A VC investments that are characterized by round sizes of $3-7M, and valuations of >$10M.
RosePaul invests $25K to $250K in its seed stage ventures, and participates in follow-on investments opportunistically.
Stage of Company Development.
RosePaul tends to invest in software enabled companies that have:
- some form of product already developed e.g. functioning prototype, MVP
- some form of market validation e.g. active base of users, successful pilots, initial customers
- a small full-time team devoted solely to the venture, and in particular with the CEO and CTO roles covered by the existing team.
- A US legal structure and market focus
To learn more about the landscape of seed-stage capital and where RosePaul fits in, see the posted presentations.
RosePaul Team Bios
Thomas Wisniewski. Tom’s professional career began as a programmer at Morgan Stanley in IT, followed by several years in investment banking. After business school, Tom joined a start-up management consulting firm, the Mitchell Madison Group (MMG) that was a spin off from McKinsey. At MMG, he focused on the intersection of Strategy/Operations/IT for financial services, tech, private equity/VC clients (1993 to 2000). The firm grew from start-up to over 1000 professionals and 15 offices and was sold to USWeb/CKS in early 2000. Following MMG, Tom joined Walker Digital, an internet incubator run by Jay Walker, founder of Priceline. During much of the next decade, he advised VC and PE firms on portfolio company turn-arounds, and evaluating new investments. On two occasions, Tom joined the management team of the companies he was serving, to lead turn-arounds and major company expansions. In addition to serving as Partner of RosePaul Ventures (and the RosePaul Investments family office), he is a board director of New York Angels, a seed investment group. Tom is a frequent speaker at tech-start-up events, and teaches at General Assembly in NYC. He holds a BA in Physics and Philosophy from Clark University, and an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth.
Barbara Lewnowski. Barbara is a results-oriented C-level executive with deep experience in building alternative asset businesses on a domestic and international basis. She held several positions in finance in the Investment Banking sector in her early career. Beginning in the mid-1990’s, she played an integral role in running Olympia Capital, an alternative asset services business, growing it from AUM of $2.5B to $74B when acquired. She was instrumental in its sale to a European bank (CACEIS SA) in 2007, at the top of the valuation cycle. She became CEO of CACEIS North America post-acquisition. In her eighteen-year tenure at Olympia Capital/CACEIS, Barbara was responsible for all key aspects of the firm’s management and its dramatic expansion. She led the reorganization of the firm’s North American main divisions post-sale and integrated them within head office’s organization.