Oct 11, 2022

Kian Capital Partners (“Kian”) is proud to announce that for the third consecutive year, the firm has been named to Inc. Magazine’s fourth annual Founder-Friendly Investors list honoring the private equity and venture capital firms with the best track record of success backing entrepreneurs.

“When we invest in a company, we view it as a genuine partnership—where we are as accountable to you as you are to us,” said Kevin McCarthy, Co-Founder and Partner at Kian Capital. “Our role is to empower management teams by providing the resources necessary to accelerate growth, scale their businesses and realize their aspirations. We appreciate Inc.’s recognition for another consecutive year, as well as our founders’ and management teams’ ongoing belief in our strategy and partnership-oriented approach.”

To compile the list, Inc. went straight to the source—entrepreneurs who have sold to private equity and venture capital firms. Founders filled out a questionnaire about their experiences partnering with private equity firms and shared data on how their companies have grown during these partnerships.

We asked founders of current and exited Kian portfolio companies to share their thoughts about working with our team:

  • Gary Ovsiowitz, Founder of Westcoast Gate (Westcoast Gate found its next partner in Aurora Capital upon exit in November 2021):  “Kian promised to have my back and bring more to the table than just capital—they delivered on their promise and so much more. Through an initial setback and the challenges that came with our "mom and pop" type of operation, Kian never wavered. They worked side-by-side with us, helping to grow the company’s infrastructure, implement a game-changing CRM and recruit key players resulting in a very successful exit for all involved. The bonus was that I not only gained a partner and an outcome beyond my expectations but lifelong friends.”
  • Jon Pek, VP of Product Development and Co-Founder of T Sportline (T Sportline is a current Kian portfolio company):  “Kian was the right fit for us because they understood what we wanted to do as founders and what we didn’t, and has respected our requests to this day. Despite already having expertise and a strong network within our industry, they’ve dug deeper and gained an even more robust understanding of our niche market. This knowledge has led to key decisions and strategic C-suite hires (real pros!) which have increased our enterprise value, put us on track to achieve transformational growth and freed up my time to work on what I love—new product development.”
  • Kevin Cook, CEO of The Purple Guys (The Purple Guys is a current Kian portfolio company):  “At the time my partner and I met Kian, we were reflecting on the purpose of the business and its legacy—to take care of our people and our clients. We knew we needed the right partner to scale and professionalize the business in a way that would provide valuable opportunities for our team and clients. Kian was (and is) that partner. In a short period of time, we’ve developed and executed on an acquisition strategy that has significantly expanded our offerings and our footprint. Our team is proud of how we’ve pivoted from a great company with great people to an industry leader creating a new standard for managed IT services to the SMB community.”

Kian is a middle-market focused private investment firm with $425 million of capital under management, 15 current investments and 20 realizations. The firm’s team of seasoned investors has over 80 years of collective experience providing transformational capital solutions as well as board-level strategic and operational guidance to founder/owner-operated businesses.

Inc.’s final list recognizes firms that entrepreneurs collaborate with and trust as they receive the financial support they need to help drive growth. All have successful track records of remaining actively involved with the businesses they invest in.

Rick Cravey, Co-Founder and Partner at Kian Capital, added, “To us, partnership means much more than providing capital. It is working side-by-side with founders and management teams to provide the incremental operational expertise and resources needed through every step of their growth journey—celebrating the successes and facing the challenges together. Our team is humbled to be included on the list, honored to be among so many fine firms and grateful for the visionary leaders with whom we partner.”

The full list of firms and accompanying article can be viewed here.

Inc.’s Founder-Friendly Investor list comprises firms identified by Inc.‘s editors or submitted to Inc. through an application process. Kian Capital applied to be considered. Inc. gathers data on how the firms’ portfolio companies have grown and interviews founders about their experiences with the firms to establish the annual list. The list recognizes firms with a track record of backing entrepreneurs by providing the financial support needed to help businesses accelerate growth while remaining actively involved following the firm’s investment. Kian Capital paid for both the fee to participate and to acquire rights to the Inc. logo for the years 2020 - 2023.

Our team is humbled to be included on the list, honored to be among so many fine firms and grateful for the visionary leaders with whom we partner.

Rick Cravey
Co-Founder & Partner at Kian Capital