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Say 'Hello' to Ann Arbor's newest VC, Augment Ventures

Another new venture capital firm has popped up in Ann Arbor, joining what is now a handful of new private funding options for local start-ups.

Augment Ventures has raised 10 percent of what it expects to be a $20-million fund focused on cleantech and IT start-ups. It has also made its first investment in Aperia Technologies. The San Francisco-based start-up is developing an automatic tire inflation device that should increase gas mileage, safety, tire life and profit margins (by 30 percent) in fleet operators.

The Ann Arbor-based VC was founded by Sonali Vijayavargiya (the managing director), Becky Davenport and Eric Halverson. Vijayavargiya, who is based in Ann Arbor, has 15 years experience in project finance, investment banking and venture investing. She founded Augment Capital, a venture advisory practice, in 2005. Davenport, who lives in Chicago, is a partner with The Macke Group which is working with TechTown. Ann Arbor resident Halverson has served as the founder and principal of Diag Ventures.

"There are a lot of opportunities and talent here, but there is a lack of capital," says Vijayavargiya. "I see an opportunity."

She expects to hit Augment Ventures' fundraising goal by the end of this year. In the meantime the firm will look for more investments, mostly in the Midwest, to make over the next six months.

"I'm sure we will make one more for sure," Vijayavargiya says. "Over the life of the fund our goal is to invest in 10-12 companies over the next 3-4 years."

Source: Sonali Vijayavargiya, managing director of Augment Ventures
Writer: Jon Zemke
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  • Augment Ventures
    3025 Boardwalk Dr
    Suite 265
    Ann Arbor, MI 48108 Website
    Augment Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in clean technologies, renewable energy, energy efficiency and IT companies with defensible technology and service offerings.