By Opportunity Zone Magazine Staff
In an effort to bring together savvy investors with high-growth start-up companies, the Verte Opportunity Zone Fund has been established to raise up to $100 million. The fund is targeting start-up and speed-up businesses within the life sciences, technology, cannabis, health care and biotech industries that have proven business models and upside potential.
“We are targeting start-up and speed-up companies for several reasons,” says VerteOZ CEO Len Mills. “Over time, greater growth will mean more jobs in the Opportunity Zone communities that are longer-lasting and in valuable growth sectors of the economy. Greater growth also means higher returns for the investors. Finally, we are leveraging our expertise as venture capital investors from our prior non-OZ venture capital fund.”
Verte’s fund is a venture capital Opportunity Zone fund founded by entrepreneurs to invest in entrepreneurs working on high-growth businesses, which Mills describes as disruptive start-ups and speed-ups that will create future recurring revenue streams and leverage technology.
Mills says reactionary investment strategies that change with cycles have caused venture investors to experience poor performance. He says the OZ fund addresses these industry dynamics by having a responsible fund size, focusing on early-stage, long-standing manager relationships, investing in every vintage year and conducting diligence on each investment.
In the first week of announcing the OZ fund, he says they received many positive investor inquiries because of the business angle and raised $1 million.
“Based on our conversations with investors, we expect this first round — $50 million — to be completed in a relatively short period of time,” says Mills.
Mills is founder/president of PI Analytics and has over 30 years of experience as an investment manager of large and small portfolios. His previous employment includes positions at the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, Wells Fargo, privately held funds and as an adjunct professor.