Little Rock investment firm Circumference Group on Wednesday announced that is has founded a venture studio dedicated to identifying, developing and funding promising pre-seed and seed-stage companies.
The studio, known as CG Ventures, aims to help entrepreneurs position their business for strategic value creation and deliver scalable value to customers, the company said in a news release.
It's looking to partner with startups primarily in the following sectors: e-commerce, enterprise software, mobility and transport, IT services, software as a service platforms, security, and telecom and video infrastructure.
The announcement comes after Circumference Group founder and CEO Jeff Fox told Arkansas Business in June that he was looking to find private companies for investment using his "core value assessment" philosophy. That philosophy focuses on understanding a business, regardless of its ownership structure.
At the time, Fox said the firm was not an angel investor. "We do not do just ideas," he said. "If you just have an idea, we’re not your guys.” Fox said he was interested in “any company that is a real company that we can evaluate.”
The new venture studio, Fox said in a news release, is focused on "identifying and investing in leaders dedicated to building successful, long-term businesses."
"Through CG Ventures, we will partner with driven entrepreneurs by providing capital and access to our team's cross-functional expertise," Fox said. "Circumference Group will provide its studio partners with an invaluable network of potential new end users and investors through the team's global relationships and advisory roles. We look forward to supporting innovative and disruptive early-stage organizations at this crucial stage in their development."
The group said its chief innovation officer will be Arthur Orduña, who previously worked as the executive vice president and chief innovation officer of Avis Budget Group. In that role, Orduña was responsible for leading global innovation, product and technology for the company's consumer and commercial fleets of more than 700,000 vehicles.
He has also held innovation-focused roles at ADT Corporation, Canoe Ventures, Bright House Networks and Canal+ Technologies U.S.
Joining Orduña as CG Venture's vice president of private investments is Chad Brown, who rejoined the firm in November after a two-year stint as director of strategic finance at Constant Contact / Endurance.
Brown is a former director of research at Circumference Group, where he helped launch the firm's Core Value Fund, its public market investment vehicle.