What is Armory Square Ventures?

Armory Square Ventures is an early stage venture fund with offices in Syracuse and New York City focused on software, mobile, and tech-enabled services companies across New York State (upstate and downstate).

What is Armory Square Ventures’ mission?

Our fund’s goal is to provide early stage companies in our portfolio with capital, contacts, mentorship, and connectivity to other venture hubs, including NYC, so they may scale into world-class companies that generate top tier returns for our investors.

Is Armory Square Ventures an economic development fund?

No. While we are passionate about growing New York’s innovation economy, we are a returns-focused fund. We believe that generating strong returns is how we can continue to grow the venture ecosystem here.

Do you only invest in Upstate NY companies?

No. An ideal company would have the management team based in New York State or the greater Northeast region however ASV can technically invest anywhere in the US or Canada. Our goal is to find opportunities where we can leverage our investment expertise and networks in upstate, downstate NY and surrounding areas. We believe that early stage venture capital is a local business and tapping local networks is how we provide value to our portfolio companies.

What is the fund’s NYC strategy?

We view NYC as a crucial component of entrepreneurs grow their companies. In addition to meeting with investment prospects in the upstate region, our office in NYC allows us to cultivate relationships with co-investors, customers, partners, and acquirers to help foster connectivity with companies in our portfolio.

What is the best way to get in front of the Armory Square Ventures team?

Although we will try to get back to any person who contacts us, the best way to get to us is through a warm referral of someone we trust.    Please send us a brief investment deck and be sure to check our investment criteria on the “About Us” page to make sure it aligns with our areas of interest.

What if I am not sure if I am a fit for Armory Square Ventures?

In general, do not hesitate to share an opportunity where you are not clear about if the company is a fit. After a first meeting, we can quickly determine if there is a fit with our investment thesis and ability to help the company scale.   If there is a fit, we like to run a basic process to evaluate the management team, market opportunity, product/technology, and operational plan.

What is the criteria you use to evaluate the companies you invest in?

For a general overview of our investment criteria, you can visit our “About Us” page. Further explanation of our investment criteria is broken down below:

SOFTWARE, MOBILE OR TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED SERVICES

ASV’s focus is primarily on capital efficient businesses that have a software, mobile or technology enabled service. We do not generally investment in pure hardware companies. Investments in traditional professional services companies or consultancies are also outside of our scope unless they have a software product that could be a major driver of growth for the company post-funding.

INDUSTRY SECTOR

ASV considers a variety of industry sectors, targeting some of the largest industries across New York State. Such industries include Food/Agriculture Software, Energy Software, Healthcare IT, Education Technology, Manufacturing Automation Software, Financial Technology, Media/Publishing and Retail/E-commerce.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

  • Large Addressable Market – Ideally $500M or above. We look to understand the pricing for existing and future customers ($P/year) and the universe of potential customers (Q/year). Understandably, companies will have global opportunities but our assumption is that the entrepreneur will focus on the local US market first.
  • High Quality Revenue Streams –The most attractive revenue model from a fund perspective would be reoccurring, which demonstrates the business’ future revenue potential and sustainability, as opposed to one time project revenue.
  • Team Structure – A company’s initial management team should include key product or technology personnel as well as sales/marketing personnel employed full-time on team when approaching ASV for investment, or look to have personnel join post funding. It is additionally important that the team has some relevant domain expertise in the industry it is targeting.
  • Stage – Seed/Early Stage (post-product).  ASV looks to write a $500K-$1M check based on a fully developed technology platform. Initial roadmap items should include building personnel and expanding sales/marketing initiatives versus funding a prototype. Existing revenue streams are not required but most companies we would consider do show either initial sales or achievable sales contracts in the near term. We will opportunistically invest in pre-product businesses where the founding management team has successfully demonstrated its ability to launch a product and scale a business.
  • Fundraising & Syndicate Potential – ASV targets investments of up to $1M in the first institutional fundraising round, with consideration for follow on investment. We aim to lead or co-lead investment and like to partner with strong co-investors as companies benefit from multiple sources of capital as well as talent and investor networks. To this end, we work actively with our companies to identify strong co-investors in our network who have often invested alongside us in the past.
  • Capital Efficiency – It is our goal for companies to achieve 12-18 months runway based on the round sizes we consider for our initial investment. The initial fundraising round should allow companies to achieve early hiring and sales milestones, ultimately helping them reach a stage where they are self-sustaining or able to bring on supplementary investors at an increased valuation.

What is your investment process and how do you work with your companies?

After a first meeting, we can quickly determine if there is a fit with our investment thesis and ability to help the company scale.   If there is a fit, we like to run a basic process to evaluate the management team, market opportunity, product/technology, and operational plan. We like to introduce companies to customers in our network to help diligence the opportunity and also show how we can deliver value to the entrepreneur too.  Assuming our diligence supports investing, we can quickly execute an investment and like simple deal terms.

After we invest, we like to support our entrepreneurs in all areas of growing their companies such as sourcing talent, co-investors, customers, and partners or refining operational strategies. Nothing excites us more than working with great entrepreneurs and we want to help in any way we can.

Why should I consider Armory Square Ventures as a potential investor?

An investor should not only be a funding source but also a connection whose network and expertise can be leveraged throughout a business relationship. We at ASV have a combined 65 years of investing experience with substantial networks throughout the industries we target as well as across multiple geographies. We, ourselves, do not want to just be a funding source and look to work with our portfolio entrepreneurs to understand and plan for the challenges they will face as they scale as well as to open doors to mentors and potential partnerships at many of today’s industry leading firms. If you feel we may be a good partner, we encourage you to reach out to us so we can learn more about your company and ways in which we can work together!