New Riverside Fund Gets JumpStart’s Attention

When JumpStart Inc. CEO Ray Leach learned about Riverside Co.’s new non-control, venture debt fund, he immediately connected with Jim Toth.

Toth is the fund manager of Riverside Acceleration Capital, a new, nationally focused growth-investment fund for the firm that targets fast-growing enterprise software companies.

The fund itself is some new territory for the nearly 30-year-old private equity firm as it breaks into venture debt.

But with Riverside being a respected trendsetter in the private equity space, some observers see this potentially drumming up additional investor interest in the rapidly growing world of venture debt — a form of investment fundamentally different from the traditional private equity deals on which Riverside has built its global business.

Given that JumpStart, a nonprofit, works with young tech companies throughout Northeast Ohio, ones that could potentially attract capital from the new Riverside fund, Leach said he’s excited by the opportunities Riverside’s new fund could create for growing local enterprises.

“We are seeing more and more venture debt, and this is an evolution of that,” Leach said, referencing the interest of a private equity firm in that space. “We certainly have companies not only in our portfolio, but also companies across Ohio and the Midwest that would have an interest in talking to Riverside as it relates to the role and purpose of this particular fund.”

And while Toth emphasizes the fund is vetting companies across the country, not focusing on a specific region, the potential for local impact shouldn’t be understated.

Read the full story at Crain’s Cleveland Business.