GABRIEL INVESTMENTS IS AN EARLY STAGE INVESTMENT FIRM, FOCUSED ON INVESTING IN EARLY-STAGE TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES, IN PHILADELPHIA AND THE SURROUNDING REGION.
The Gabriel Investments team members are all operators by background, most of whom have founded companies, raised large amounts of capital, and experienced significant exits.
While we will explore investment opportunities in most sectors, we prefer to invest in start-up companies where we have experience and can add value. Our team has operated companies in multiple industries, including financial services, energy, travel and entertainment, experiential marketing, technology/software, and law. Much of our success in growing companies has been the result of our broad experience in distribution partnerships and direct marketing.
Where possible, we will call on the personal experiences, contacts, and areas of expertise of our members to bring on advisors, work through business issues, make connections, refer talent, assess marketing strategies, and create strategic partnerships.
We typically participate in either Seed or Series-A funding rounds and prefer to invest in post-revenue companies with potential for high growth, a strong market position, and a sustainable competitive advantage. Companies that are the best fit for our team have a strong understanding of their company’s financials as well as a firm grasp of their target customer profile, marketing results, and customer acquisition costs.
Richard Vague, Managing Partner
Richard Vague, Managing Partner
Richard is a serial entrepreneur, having founded and exited three companies. He was co-founder and CEO of Energy Plus, an electricity and natural gas supply company that was sold to NRG Energy in 2011. Richard was also co-founder and CEO of two credit card companies – First USA, which grew to be the largest issuer of Visa credit cards and which was sold to Bank One in 1997, and Juniper Financial, the fastest-growing U.S. credit card issuer during his tenure, which was sold to Barclays PLC in 2004.
Scott Tarte, Managing Partner
Scott is CEO of Sparks, a leading experiential marketing firm that he acquired in 2001 with fellow Gabriel Investments Member, Jeff Harrow. With clients like Google, Salesforce, Adidas, LEGO and eBay, Sparks manages all aspects of experiential marketing for Fortune 1000 brands, and designs and manufactures in-store experiences for retailers like Comcast, Verizon, New Balance, Benjamin Moore and Samsung. Prior to Sparks, Scott and Jeff grew a single office NJ-based travel agency into the sixth-largest US corporate travel management company, with revenues of $900 million and a staff of 1,400. Scott sold Travel One to American Express in 1999.
Holly Flanagan, Managing Director
Holly is responsible for investment sourcing and firm operations at Gabriel Investments. Prior to Gabriel, Holly held senior sales roles at several venture-backed companies, as well as at Barclays both in the US and UK. She is an Eisenhower Fellow, focused on women entrepreneurs and investment in China and participated in a TiE sponsored US State Department initiative in India to empower and motivate women entrepreneurs. She is a member of the Circle of Aunts and Uncles Investment Group, providing low-interest loans and social capital to under-resourced community-focused entrepreneurs. Holly is a charter member of TiE Philadelphia, mentor for the Philadelphia Start Up Leaders’ Accelerator and facilitator for Her Corner.