ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Ann Arbor-based Augment Ventures, a new early-stage venture capital fund, said it has closed its first round of funding and made its first investment in Aperia Technologies, a cleantech company.
“Augment, which has an overall fund goal of $20 million, will invest in transformational cleantech and IT companies with high caliber and passionate teams,” said Sonali Vijayavargiya, Augment Ventures’ founder and managing director. “We invest in companies with breakthrough products that can leverage Midwest Might — the talent and assets unique to our region — to take advantage of global market opportunities. “
Aperia Technologies, based in San Francisco, Calif., is developing an automatic tire inflation device for trucks.
“In addition to enabling higher efficiency by increasing miles per gallon, Aperia’s technology will extend tire life and increase safety, enabling up to a 30 percent improvement in profit margins for fleet operators,” said Vijayavargiya. “They have a great team, scalable technology and over a $40 billion global market opportunity — all elements that Augment looks for in investment opportunities.”
Augment will be working closely with Aperia Technologies to recruit local fleet operators in Michigan to participate in their nationwide on-road testing program. Aperia is also exploring manufacturing options in Michigan. Sierra Angels, Band of Angels and other individual angels are investors in the current round of funding in Aperia.
Vijayavargiya has more than 15 years of experience working with early-stage companies across various industries in different parts of the world. She has been a strategic advisor to companies such as Accio Energy, Accuri Cytometers, Adaptive Materials, Danotek Motion Technology and NRG Dynamics. Augment has seasoned successful entrepreneurs on its advisory board — Michelle Crumm, Kalyan Handique, Tom Kinnear, Maria Thompson, Dawn White and William Wood.
Augment Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in high caliber and passionate entrepreneurial teams with breakthrough products in CleanTech and IT for global markets. Investment criteria include defensible intellectual property, capital efficient business models and global market opportunities. For more information please visit www.augmentventures.com.