Meet Kelsey Chase, Founder of Aumni. Aumni is an investment analytics platform for private capital markets that include venture funds, family offices, university endowments, and corporate venture firms. By combining the best of A.I. and human expertise, Aumni’s platform extracts and analyzes critical deal data buried in dense legal agreements. In just a few clicks, Aumni provides the most comprehensive insights related to the financial and legal position of every investment. Aumni has analyzed an unprecedented breadth and depth of private capital data representing investors with over $1 trillion in assets under management. With Aumni, investment leaders can make faster and more informed decisions in an ever-changing world.
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Tell us about your current role and the technology you handle at Aumni:
Kelsey Chase: Prior to co-founding Aumni in 2018 with my longtime peer and friend Tony Lewis, I was a corporate attorney with DLA Piper and Wilson Sonsini, where I represented emerging growth companies and private capital investors. Today, I serve as Aumni’s president where I oversee go-to-market strategy and growth for our principal lines of business.
Aumni was created to help the private capital markets uncover critical insights that enable venture funds, family offices, university endowments, and corporate venture firms to quickly make more informed investment decisions. We offer technology that helps VCs turn complex deal document data into valuable information.
Both Tony and I are proud that we’ve introduced a new level of quality to private market investment analytics. Our team of experienced venture experts conducts audits on every legal document in a customer’s portfolio. Then, the company’s automated platform unlocks and adds structure to hundreds of legal and financial data points.
When I’m not knee-deep in data, I have lectured on the subjects of venture capital and entrepreneurship at UC Hastings College of the Law, the University of San Diego School of Business, and School of Law, and serve as a frequent guest on podcasts, webinars, and panels. My first priority, however, will always be the time I dedicated to enjoying and nurturing my young family.
What are the major challenges in the VC industry that inspired the creation of Aumni?
Kelsey Chase: In 2020, $142 billion was raised globally by venture capital investors. Fast forward to early 2021, even as global economies fought to shake off the effects of the pandemic, global venture investments were up 94% year-over-year.
However, while the investment community continues to buy into private markets, there is still a barrier to growth in venture capital — transparency.
The reality is, only a small fraction of the burgeoning primary capital that’s being deployed finds a level of transactional freedom that resembles public market trading. While secondary transaction volume continues to grow, secondary markets remain highly decentralized, inefficient, and inaccessible for most. So, what’s behind this large delta? A lack of data structure and transparency.
Recognizing this challenge, Aumni has created an investment data analytics platform that relies on executed legal documents for information. Since the launch of our flagship product in 2018, Aumni has analyzed more than 100,000 investment transactions. Our platform helps the private market extract and analyze critical deal data buried in dense legal agreements – providing comprehensive insights regarding every investment’s financial and legal position. This eliminates the data gap and ultimately enables better decision-making and transparency in the private capital markets.
What is on the horizon for VC market trends?
Kelsey Chase: The VC market is continuing to grow exponentially. Though 2021 is not over, it’s already witnessed a record level of venture capital activity. So far this year, we’ve seen $292.4 billion in venture financing across the globe, of which $138.9 billion was raised in the United States.
Looking forward, we expect this trend to continue. Along with this surge, we predict that the private market will gravitate towards data-driven investment strategies. Why? Stakeholders – from startup founders to transaction lawyers to fund managers – want to leverage market insights to negotiate fairly, manage funds wisely and seize opportunities intelligently.
Showcasing this new trend, Aumni has amassed the largest venture investment analytics database with over 100,000 venture transactions analyzed across more than 40,000 investors representing $1T in AUM. As a result of this industry demand, Aumni is experiencing exceptional growth rates.
How and why is the private capital market becoming more transparent and data-driven?
Kelsey Chase: Investors are craving real-time insights before investing in companies. However, facilitating transparency and a scalable supply of private securities requires trust. With double- and triple-digit year-over-year growth in private market dealflow, the need for accurate, structured data has never been greater.
The evolution of private markets has shown signs of potential liquidity options for founders, high net worth individuals, limited partners, and fund managers who historically have held private securities until a major company liquidity event such as an IPO or acquisition. However, market participants must demand an integrated and structured data network that forms a bedrock of confidence to create, understand and participate in a more liquid private capital ecosystem.
How has Aumni continued to improve its Investment Data Analytics Platform to meet the demands of today’s private capital market?
Kelsey Chase: Aumni is constantly improving our platform to provide the most streamlined and insightful customer experience possible. Our mission is to empower leaders in private capital markets to make the smartest investment decisions with the best data and analytics solutions.
We use the latest AI technology combined with the hands-on work of veteran venture attorneys to discover, analyze, and deliver investment insights that were once buried in unstructured documents—we shine a bright light on “dark data”.
Within the past year, we’ve seen a 225% increase in the adoption rate of our data analytics platform. Driving this adoption are emerging managers at a 350% increase year-over-year. In addition, Aumni experienced a 233% increase in year-over-year adoption from megafunds. Based on this demand, it is evident that both legacy and new firms are craving more reliable and actionable data, defying budgetary constraints.
What remaining goals do you have for Aumni this year?
Kelsey Chase: Aumni has seen incredible growth since its launch in 2018. In June, we relocated our headquarters to a new office space spanning over 20,000 square feet in Salt Lake City’s Cottonwood Heights neighborhood, now sharing a building with Utah’s highest performing venture funds. This is a direct result of our growing team member headcount that has expanded 100% in the past year.
We also recently closed a $50 million Series B funding round led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. with significant participation from Pelion Venture Partners. We’ll use the funds to deepen our presence with investors in the private capital markets and expand our offerings for limited partners, law firms, and company founders.
We have exciting moves on the horizon, including product and feature updates, and look forward to bringing new talent to Aumni to support our growing role with decision-makers across the private markets.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kelsey Chase for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kelsey Chase or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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