An investment firm launched last September in Raleigh on Tuesday officially announced the opening of its headquarters in Wilmington.
Tidewater Equity Partners will focus on small company direct investment, health care-related venture capital and innovation consulting, said founder and managing partner Merrette Moore.
The entity is not a fund and does not operate under a traditional fund model, Moore added. Instead, it provides flexibility in allowing investors to participate on a deal-by-deal basis without any upfront commitment or long-term obligation.
“Our model is special in that it allows us to be hands on and bring in investors who can draw from their expertise to contribute to specific deals. Through this, we provide value-added management and expertise to our portfolio companies,” he said.
Moore, a longtime Raleigh resident, has been in the private equity and venture capital field for the past 20 years. When he and his wife decided to move to Wilmington, he structured his new firm to draw on the strengths of his contacts in the Triangle area while building a presence in Wilmington. The firm’s four-person staff and adviser group is still based in Raleigh, he said.
A recent addition to the adviser team is Wilmington resident Rich Lee, founder and former CEO of Hosted Solutions. Moore said Lee is “very familiar with the process of growing and exiting a closely held business, having led Hosted Solutions to one of the Triangle tech sector’s largest exits in 2010.”
Tidewater, whose office is at tekMountain, will use its network and expertise to foster innovation in southeastern North Carolina, according to a news release, which stated that the firm hopes to use its innovation consulting to promote economic development for local communities in this part of the state.
Tidewater particularly sees opportunities for innovation in health care, the release stated. Similar to its work with Rex Health Ventures in the Triangle, Tidewater is in discussions with New Hanover Regional Medical Center to “help the organization find synergies and potentially develop an innovation platform of its own,” the release stated.
Since its founding, Tidewater has raised $3.1 million in venture capital for Durham-based semiconductor company Phononic and $6.5 million in private equity to secure a controlling interest in South Atlantic Packaging, a contract packaging company in Winston-Salem.
For more about the company’s plans, pick up a copy of the May 19 issue of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.
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