Runway Growth Capital hires two for its origination team

The firm hopes the new personnel will help expand its venture reach.

Runway Growth Capital has made two new hires to help its expansion into key markets.

Last week, the Chicago-based firm said it hired Jaime Lewis, formerly of KPMG, and Brian Sapp, previously of Hercules Capital, for its origination team.

Lewis was named a managing director and head of north-east origination. At KPMG, he was a director in the venture capital practice, where he built up the firm’s portfolio of venture-backed clients.

Sapp was hired as a managing director and head of West Coast origination. He was formerly a managing director at Hercules, where he executed and managed investments in industrial technology businesses.

These two new hires are part of Runway’s plan to hire senior-level originators in some of the most important markets, firm chairman, chief executive and chief investment officer David Spreng told PDI in an interview. The markets it wants to expand in include New York, Silicon Valley and Chicago, he noted.

“[Lewis and Sapp’s] roles will be to work with fast-growing innovative companies to help design a growth funding solution for them that minimises dilution by utilizing debt instead of equity,” Spreng said.

He added that he wants to use the pair’s experience to build Runway’s physical presence in the three markets. The firm also hired Mark Donnelly as its Midwest originator in late 2017.

Runway focuses on scalable companies that are looking to complement equity funding with debt. Most of the firm’s investments have been in software and technology companies, including Aria Systems and CareCloud Corporation. Oaktree Capital Management has invested $139 million in the venture debt firm.

As of June, Runway had $131 million in debt invested across 11 companies. Debt financing currently makes up 63.6 percent of the firm’s investment portfolio and it currently oversees $208.76 million in total assets.