Family offices have always been an important feature of the investment landscape, bringing a unique perspective and time horizon to the private wealth space. What makes following the investment trends of family offices worthwhile is that they have the resources and teams in place to analyze the different investment opportunities that come their way. As family offices grow in size and power, the more progressive ones are using a direct investment strategy to earn higher returns. In utilizing the FINTRX family office data and research platform, which provides intel into thousands of direct deal transactions made by 3,000+ family offices worldwide, we explore five family offices directly investing in manufacturing companies.
1. PIC Investment Group
With roots tracing back to 1976, PIC Investment Group is a Saskatoon, Canada-based single-family office serving as the private investment vehicle for Greg Yuel and his family. In 1976, the Yuel family founded Prairie Industrial Chemicals Ltd, which provided chemical manufacturing, packaging, transportation, property management, and importing/exporting services. Today, PIC Investment Group seeks venture capital and private equity investments across a range of industries and sectors including biomedical, transportation, real estate, aviation, tourism, chemical production and packaging, propane distribution, insurance, and business service consulting. PIC engages in various transaction types including joint ventures, loans, bridge financing, wholly owned and partially owned operating companies.
In July 2018, PIC Investment Group made a direct investment in HeartHero, a dynamic startup company committed to positively affecting the outcome of cardiac arrest. HeartHero saves lives through Elliot - a novel Automated External Defibrillator (AED). In December 2018, PIC Investment Group directly invested in Ingredion Inc., a global ingredient solutions company making sweeteners, starches, and unique ingredients from plant sources such as corn, tapioca, rice, sago, and potato. Ingredion Inc. provides solutions for almost 60 industry sectors across 40 countries. PIC's investment criteria include growth potential, market opportunity, financial viability, risk level, and exit strategy. The group will co-invest alongside other LPs and family offices.
Founded in 2001, Tattarang is a Nedlands, Australia-based single-family office serving as the private investment vehicle for Andrew Forrest and his family. Forrest created his wealth through a series of business endeavors, most notably the founding of Anaconda Nickel in 1994. Anaconda Nickel, an Australian mining company, later became Minara Resources. In the early 2000s, Forrest founded Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian company that specialized in mining and shipping raw materials primarily to China. Besides mining, Forrest expanded his interests into cattle, farming, and additional businesses throughout the 2000s. Throughout the late 2010s, Forrest and his family were one of Australia's largest charitable givers, donating more than $400M in a single year. The family regularly donates to educational institutions and charities benefitting children throughout Australia via their family foundation, the Minderoo Foundation. Today, Tattarang invests in a wide range of opportunities, primarily via direct transactions. The group considers investments across several sectors and industries including manufacturing, food and beverage, telecommunications, technology, financial technology, pharmaceuticals, life science, agriculture, energy, natural resources, raw materials, sports, hospitality, and real estate.
In February 2021, Tattarang directly invested in Ridley Corporation, Australia’s largest and only national provider of high-performance animal nutrition solutions owning both Ridley AgriProducts and CSF Proteins. The Australian operation supports both the major food producers in the beef, dairy, poultry, pig, sheep, and aquaculture industries and the equine and canines in the recreational sector. Tattarang is heavily involved in ESG investments, taking a sustainable and ethical approach to business activities. Geographically, the group considers opportunities agnostically however have historically invested heavily in Australian businesses. Tattarang will consider co-investments alongside like-minded investors.
3. Darco Capital
Founded in 2017, Darco Capital is a Philadelphia, PA-based single-family office serving as the family office and direct investment vehicle for David Adelman. Adelman created his wealth through a series of entrepreneurial ventures beginning during his college days after investing $2,000 in Campus Apartments, a student housing company. Today, the company has grown to more than $2 billion in assets under management, providing campus housing across the United States. Besides Campus Apartments, Adleman has invested in several early-stage businesses, including co-founding FS Investments, a $24 billion hedge fund. Besides his traditional business endeavors, Adelman has invested in several sports franchises across the globe, including Crystal Palace, in the English Premier League, the 76ers of the NBA, and Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the MLB's New York Yankees affiliate. Alongside his personal investments, Adelman has been heavily active in philanthropy, holding board seats with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, USC Shoah Foundation, The Institute for Visual History and Education, Young Presidents' Organization, and Vice-Chair of University City District Board of Directors. Today, the firm invests, primarily directly into a range of opportunities. Sectors and verticals of interest include life sciences, consumer goods, technology, software, financial technology, sports and entertainment, media, data, food and beverage - among others. Darco Capital primarily invests in early rounds of funding, including seed, pre-seed, and venture rounds.
In January 2020, Darco Capital directly invested in Moov, a venture-funded startup in San Francisco that has built the world’s first interactive equipment marketplace and asset management platform using a modern tech stack. Many of the world’s largest companies use Moov's platform to buy, sell, and manage their manufacturing assets. Moov matches idle or surplus equipment with buyers who seek high-quality equipment at a deep discount and reduced lead-time. The platform also integrates offerings such as payments, logistics, asset management, and other add-on services. Darco Capital regularly co-invests alongside like-minded family offices, angel and institutional investors. Past co-investing partners have included BAM Ventures, Operator Partners, Ludlow Ventures, and Mark Cuban. Deal sizes vary depending on the opportunity but have historically ranged from $1M- $20M.
4. Grouse Ridge Capital
Established in 2012, Grouse Ridge Capital is a Butler, PA-based single-family office serving as the investment vehicle for the Muck and Bechtold families. The firm's founder Stephen Muck established the firm after an extensive career in finance across the private equity and venture capital spaces. With an interest in making charity investments, Stephen Muck established the Muck Family Foundation to serve as the family's philanthropic arm. The Muck Family Foundation distributes to a wide range of charitable organizations around the globe. Today, Grouse Ridge Capital operates uniquely for a family office, taking part in both early and later-stage investments across a range of industries. Primary sectors and industries of interest include construction, infrastructure, steel, heavy industrials, and manufacturing. The firm's venture capital endeavors differ significantly from their private equity interests. When making early-stage investments, Grouse Ridge Ventures targets companies operating within the software, financial technology, robotics and artificial intelligence sectors.
Besides the firm's private investments, Grouse Ridge Capital also offers merger and acquisition advisory services. When making private equity investments, the firm specializes in mid-market opportunities including buyouts, turnarounds, and family business succession. Grouse Ridge Capital targets companies that are transitioning from product development to market development, as well as dedicated entrepreneurs with quality management teams and scalable business models. In March 2020, Grouse Ridge Capital directly invested in nanoGriptech, a Pittsburgh, PA-based company spun off from research conducted at Carnegie Mellon University. This group focuses on understanding and duplicating, using synthetic polymer materials, controllable sticking, high friction, highly directional, and tactile qualities of gecko feet. The research and development team is working to optimize and mass produce these advanced micro/nano-materials for a wide range of consumer applications. Grouse Ridge Capital regularly co-invests alongside other like-minded investors and family offices. Deal sizes range considerably for the group, but primarily fall below the $20M mark. Geographically, Grouse Ridge Capital targets companies operating in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The firm does not allocate to non-domestic opportunities.
5. Segnalita Ventures
Founded in 2016, Segnalita Ventures is a Wattens, Austria-based single-family office serving as the direct investment arm for Markus Langes-Swarovski, the great-grandson of Daniel Swarovski. The Swarovski family created its wealth in the crystal-cutting business after Daniel Swarovski founded his company. Daniel's son Gernot Langes-Swarovski grew the family company into an international luxury brand with revenues exceeding $3 billion. Today, Segnalita allocates to a range of opportunities across multiple sectors and industries. Verticals of interest include manufacturing, technology, consumer goods, internet of things, electronics, clothing, software, life science, medical technology and more. Segnalita Ventures also considers ESG factors prior to allocating to any opportunity and targets companies with socially responsible missions, goals, or sustainable business models.
In January 2019 and February 2020, Segnalita Ventures directly invested in Instagrid, a privately-held electrical manufacturing company. With a portable power supply that improves efficiency, Instagrid inspires to advance electric freedom accessible to everyone. Software-defined batteries from Instagrid are the key to mobile and digital electricity that will shape better working environments in the future. Segnalita Ventures primarily invests in seed and early-stage venture rounds of funding ranging in size from $3M-$10M. The group regularly co-invests alongside other like-minded investors. Past co-investment partners have included SET Ventures and Martin Global. When investing, Segnalita Ventures targets early-stage companies, primarily throughout Europe.
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