GGC & South Carolina

We have recently added four investments in South Carolina to our portfolio. These include leading first investments in medical device company Obsidio (Columbia, SC) fintech company Reflection Analytics (Charleston, SC), and consumer products company Rheos Gear(Charleston, SC), an investment we made as sponsor of the Harbor Accelerator Pitch Competition. The team also a made follow-on investment in consumer products company The New Primal (Charleston, SC).

Our investment in Obsidio is a good demonstration of the role GGC has been playing in the state. One of the founders, a Professor at USC, contacted Amy because he heard her speak in Greenville and didn’t know where to begin to start his company. After working closely with the founders on every aspect of their company creation, from IP (the initial IP for the company was created at MIT and Harvard) to operations and strategy, we led a convertible note seed round and will soon be gathering investors for a much larger round in the fall. This company would have already left the state without our involvement and “boots on the ground.”

Similarly, NC-based Pryon relied on our team to find a lead investor for its next round, despite our only being able to invest a small proportion of their $20M round. GGC’s John Osborne introduced the company to its lead investor, Revolution Capital (Steve Case’s fund) and participated in the round.

So we find ourselves, as the main early institutional investors in the region (except for health care), in the unusual position as a fund of being asked to lead rounds for companies where we do not have sufficient capital to be the majority investor in the round. Of course this also reflects the experience of our team (entrepreneurs want our leadership and involvement in growing their companies). But we find it is increasingly our role in the region not just in South Carolina, but in North Carolina, parts of Georgia and Tennessee. We have seen through investing Fund I that this is a great thing for our fund’s access to superior deals, but it is also one of the many indicators that we need more capital.

We are considering building a South Carolina-specific sidecar fund in conjunction with local corporations and economic development agencies for Fund II, which does not have a specific 50% in the Southeast mandate. We will only do this if there is sufficient management support coming in from entities and individuals beyond the GGC partners, since we already have a very high amount of deal flow and want to focus on our core investment thesis. Please let us know if you would like more information about this initiative.

 

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