Our approach & Investment Thesis
Navitas is focused on making investments at the intersection of the Energy and IT sectors, with specific domain expertise on Intelligent Buildings and Enterprise start-ups.
Within the Intelligent Building & Enterprise space, our five primary investment themes are: (1) Advanced Materials, (2) Smart Systems, (3) Resource Efficiency, (4) Workflow Tools and (5) Business Model Innovation.
We believe our sector focus provides unmatched access and insights for both our investors and the entrepreneurs we back. More specifically, Navitas leverages its unique domain expertise, corporate partners, and industry relationships to create a self-reinforcing cycle of value within our network. Whether helping a portfolio company with an introduction, partnership opportunity, capital raise or strategy, we always seek to add value as part of our investments.
PlanGrid has some pretty high profile investors, but none have been more helpful in connecting us to forward thinking builders than Navitas.Ryan Sutton-Gee. Cofounder & CEO at PlanGrid
In a sea of me-too investors, Navitas stands as an independent thinker with deep and knowledgeable convictions about the market. We met at formation stage, and they have been the ideal partner to help us build Gridium from concept to rapid revenue growth.Tom Arnold, CEO, Gridium
Jim and Travis have deep knowledge and contacts in the built space, and they truly go the extra mile for their portfolio companies.Rao Mulpuri, CEO, View
Navitas has been extremely valuable in helping our organization think and act differently in sourcing and leveraging early stage innovation in the built environment.Kevin Self, VP Strategy & Corporate Development, Johnson Controls
Navitas Capital has become a highly-valued portal for Saint-Gobain's External Venturing Group for sources of innovation and expertise in the built environment.Michael Mahoney, Manager External Venturing, Saint-Gobain
World-Class Team & Technical Co-Founders
High executing teams with both technical and domain expertise and the ability to relate to the customer pain point.
Technology or Process Innovation
Businesses with an “unfair” technology or business model innovation that is defensible over the long term.
Large, Dynamic Market Opportunity
Opportunity for significant top line growth both domestically and internationally.
Scalable Go-To-Market Strategy/Strategic Partners
Evidenced by strategic corporate partner interest and/or the ability to harness network effects in customer adoption.
Capital Light Business Models
We like to think of this as the 10-1 ratio, meaning business models that can achieve $10 of revenue for every $1 of capital invested in the business.
First Cost Attractive, Without Subsidies
No reliance on subsidies, rebates or otherwise temporary measures to compete with existing solutions based on price.
No Significant Government/Regulatory Risk
Policy as an “accelerator” is ok , but not as an enabler of the business model.
High Gross Margins
Best in class start-ups typically generate high gross margins early in their life cycles. We view gross margin as an indicator of a solutions value in the market, competitive differentiation, and capital efficiency.
Low Barriers to Adoption
Start-ups with measurable, easy-to-implement, breakthrough solutions.
What is your investment strategy?
Our mission is to invest in and help build the industry leading companies in our target sector.
Our five primary investment themes are: (1) Advanced Materials, (2) Smart Systems, (3) Resource Efficiency, (4) Workflow Tools and (5) Business Model Innovation.
We believe our sector focus provides unmatched access and insights for both our investors and the entrepreneurs we back. More specifically, Navitas leverages its unique domain expertise, corporate partners, and industry relationships to create a self-reinforcing cycle of value within our network.
Do you only invest in early-stage companies?
In general, we are open to investing at any stage during a start-up’s lifecycle, as long as we can add value, and contribute to driving a significant return. That being said, we have had a lot of success finding and backing great start-ups early in their lifecycle (Seed, Series A).
How much do you invest?
We take an opportunistic “risk-adjusted” approach to each portfolio investment. In practice, our investments range from $100,000 to $5 million over the full lifecycle of the investment. Being flexible in our funding requirements allows us to remain in balance with the capital needs of the company based on stage, strategy, and syndicate dynamics. We are not motivated by ownership percentage or by the ultimate exit valuation requirements, which helps us stay in balance with the goals of the teams we back.
Do you lead investments or are you willing to co-invest with other funds?
We are comfortable leading investments, as well as participating in a syndicate of investors as a co-investor. We often find that having the right syndicate of investors can be a powerful value-add to a start-up as different investors bring unique value to the table.
Do you have a geographic focus?
In general, we focus on the United States and Canada, but we’re willing to consider investments in other parts of the world as long as we’re partnered with a strong local co-investor.
What characteristics do you look for in companies you back?
In general, we look to back exceptional founding teams with strong leadership capacity and deep technical expertise that have created a significant product or process innovation. In addition, we look for start-ups that: 1) offer solutions that are clearly differentiated in their approach, 2) operate in large, dynamic market opportunities, 3) have validated their proposed value proposition with early adopting customers, 4) have strong long-term defensibility in their target markets and 5) present a credible path to exit.
Do you require a board seat when you invest?
On deals we lead, yes. Other times, where we co-invest in a syndicate, we would be interested in taking a board observation seat. In most cases, we are invited to join the board in some capacity based on our unique domain expertise and access in our target sector.