DURHAM – Jurassic Capital, a Durham-based growth equity firm headed by Joe Colopy and Kevin Mosley, has tapped a female associate to join its growing team.
Chrissy Whitty joins the firm after spending the last five years at JPMorgan Chase in Charlotte, where she led an effort to support high-growth commerce businesses and fintech across the Southeast. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2018.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Jurassic Capital team to aid in the mission of filling the investment gap for bootstrapped founders in the Southeast,” Whitty told WRAL TechWire.
The appointment comes on the heels of Jurassic Capital closing on an initial $20 million for its first fund in January to invest in growth-stage startups. It’s also particularly noteworthy given the lack of female representation in the venture capital world.
“With the trend of VC and startups migrating out of Silicon Valley, we collectively have an opportunity to rewrite who comprises the investor start up universe in our community, and where investment dollars go,” said Whitty. “We need to make an intentional effort to build our own VC world to be representative, diverse, equitable, and inclusive.”
Only about 12% of decision makers at VC firms are women, and 65% of firms still do not have a single female partner, according to an analysis last year.
“We hired the best person,” said Colopy, co-founder and former CEO of Bronto Software, which sold for $200 million in 2015. “She expressed the most interest, was the most relevant and seemed to be the best fit. That being said, the solid majority of our candidates were men.”
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Colopy said the decision to add a female associate to his team was “less about deciding to diversify” and more about “feeling diverse teams are better.”
Research suggests that is accurate: diverse teams can perform better. There’s a business case for companies to adopt practices and policies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I’m raising my kids with the same worldview,” he added.
Whitty said her appointment is another “step in the right direction but there’s a lot of room to grow.”
“I feel a responsibility as I go forward in my new career to change this demotivating rhetoric, empower females and minorities within or looking to enter this industry, and ultimately create and expand opportunities for folks not traditionally represented in this field,” she said.
Jurassic Capital began investing in 2019, and has already made a handful of investments, all in companies based in North Carolina. Among them: Raleigh software firm Corevist, which raised a Series B in May, and the now Durham-based online management platform WorkDove (formerly Performance Culture).
As WRAL TechWire reported in January, the firm plans to use its first fund to invest in 10 companies that are ready to scale and generating between $1 and $5 million in annual revenue.
The Jurassic Capital team also includes Chaz Felix, a co-founder and former COO of Bronto Software.
Jurassic Capital, led by team with ties to Bronto Software, closes $20M to invest in growth-stage companies
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