Peggy A. Babin Joins Valmiki Capital to Launch New Orleans Based Venture Capital Funds
Caitlin Berni | firstname.lastname@example.org | Published on January 29, 2016
NEW ORLEANS – Today Valmiki Capital Management LP, a New York based asset management company, announced that Peggy A. Babin will join the firm as President and CEO of Valmiki 504 LLC, a newly formed subsidiary to run its venture capital operations in New Orleans. Ms. Babin will be joining Valmiki after a stellar tenure at Tulane University where she was Associate Dean at the A. B. Freeman School of Business. She will join Valmiki on February 1st, 2016 and will recruit a team to work with local portfolio companies and bring to fruition Valmiki’s aim of bringing world class investing expertise and connections to the New Orleans startup ecosystem.
“GNO, Inc. is pleased to welcome Valmiki Capital to New Orleans,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of GNO, Inc. “Increasing access to capital is a key factor in the growth of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, and Valmiki Capital will fill a critical need in the New Orleans area. We look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure their success.” Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance, seconded the welcome, saying, “The combination of a world-class asset management team with one of the city’s leading business professionals to form a venture capital subsidiary in New Orleans is a historic moment for our entrepreneurs and our investment community. Valmiki Capital’s arrival is further evidence of the city’s ascending business climate under the Landrieu Administration and the City Council. On behalf of our team and our Board of Directors, we look forward to their growth, success and enhanced funding opportunities for New Orleans’ growth companies.”
In addition to Ms. Babin, the board of directors of Valmiki 504 includes James W. McFarland, Executive Director of the Tulane Energy Institute and the former dean of the A. B. Freeman Business School at Tulane University. In a statement Dean McFarland said “I have long asserted that the availability of professionally managed venture capital is a necessity for the Louisiana startup ecosystem to flourish, and I am very pleased to be part of the team to attract a talented and well respected institutional firm to New Orleans. I have known Ravi Suria for more than two decades starting as my MBA student and am thrilled to have an alum of his professional accomplishments bring his firm to New Orleans.”
The firm is launching two venture capital funds to cater to needs of Louisiana’s startup companies and investors – Valmiki Bayou Partners I & II LP. Valmiki partners have initially funded $5 million as anchor investors and the firm is in the process of raising additional capital from local investors. The advisory boards of the funds consists of Tulane alumni with extensive global experience in investment research and portfolio management, including Eric Handler and Motez Bishara. The Valmiki funds have already made investing commitments to six local companies and are expected to announce a number of joint ventures with local academia, incubators and business organizations over the next few months.
Valmiki Capital was founded in 2008 by Ravi Suria who has had an outstanding career in investment research and management – as an analyst at PaineWebber and Lehman Brothers and as a portfolio manager at Duquesne Capital and Moore Capital Management, two of the most prestigious hedge funds from the last three decades. He received his MBA from Tulane’s Freeman School of Business in 1995 and was the recipient of the inaugural Rising Tide award for outstanding alumnus of the Freeman School in 2001. He has additionally received a number of industry awards from Institutional Investor’s prestigious All Star analyst to being Fortune Magazine’s People to Watch in 2001. Valmiki’s investment methodology involves a very integrated and hands on approach to its portfolio companies including close operating partnerships with affiliated incubator partners in various industries, an approach it intends to utilize in helping develop the Louisiana startup ecosystem.