Vela Partners, a venture capital firm rooted in San Francisco, California that emphasizes product-driven strategies and artificial intelligence, has officially come out of stealth mode, boasting $25 million in management.
The firm’s limited partners span a broad range of institutional investors including banks, manufacturers, energy corporations, and system integrators, all showing keen interest in incorporating AI into their operations. These LPs, who are founders, executives at the C-level, and leaders in the domains of product development and engineering within tech companies and financial institutions, actively participate in supporting the portfolio.
Vela Partners has developed a unique in-house product, ‘Ventech,’ conceived over many years by former Google employees and researchers from the University of Oxford. This tool encompasses features like company evaluation, sourcing, analysis of relationship graphs, and market intelligence capabilities. In a bid to support the startup ecosystem, the firm has also recently made over 20 machine learning models available on their GitHub repository, complete with accompanying research papers.
This innovative setup allows entrepreneurs to probe trends and burgeoning ideas within developer communities like AWS and GitHub. Meanwhile, pre-approved VCs can pinpoint the most promising seed-stage startups and discern emergent trends at early stages. Limited partners have the added advantage of being able to ask why Vela chose to invest in a particular startup using natural language.
Guided by Yigit Ihlamur and Fuat Alican, Vela Partners currently holds 32 companies in its portfolio, such as Grabango, which has raised $93 million to assist grocers in establishing autonomous checkout stores, and Bear Robotics, which has gathered $115 million to develop self-driving robots aimed at addressing labor shortages in the hospitality industry.