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Please take a moment and make a financial contribution to TheFunded. If we have helped you, help us with resources to further grow the both the site and our entrepreneur training program, The Founder Institute.

Kepha Partners  CERTIFIED

Firm Rating:

Rated 3.1 / 5.0 by 14
Track
Record
3.0
Operating
Competence
2.6
Pitching
Efficiency
3.8
Favorable
Deal Terms
3.2
Execution
Assistance
3.1

Firm Homepage:

FIRM OVERVIEW: Medium Private VC founded in 2007 based out of Waltham, USA (US East)

FIRM DESCRIPTION: "Venture builders" who specialize in pre-seed, seed and Series A.

TEAM MEMBERS: Josephat Tango,

1
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0
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Nice People

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by LoA on 2013-10-06

PUBLIC:

Pitched Jo, he's a positive guy that made it from nothing to something. The fund seems to make only 4 new deals a year, so it's very exclusive. He relatively quick to take a pass, which is better than the funds who can't make a decision.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Good Experience Overall

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by azure on 2012-01-18

PUBLIC:

We pitched Joe for our start up and while we decided it wasn't a match, we found him to be personable and willing to connect us to other funding sources.

PRIVATE: Members Only (233 Characters)

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Shop that is Getting Footing

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by philipph81 on 2010-02-10

PUBLIC:

Pitched Eric at a very early stage in our company. Eric has some great experience, and heard us out. He gave us a quick "no" but connected us to CommonAngels and Chris Sheehan. He seems willing to help. So I'd reccomend at least giving these guys a shot at your company.

PRIVATE: Members Only (335 Characters)

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Quick No

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by beowulf on 2009-12-28

PUBLIC:

Pitched Jo and Eric after socializing them on our deal over the past 18 months. They turned us down pretty quickly, but gave valid reasons for their concerns. Jo has been very consistent in the process, providing quick, professional feedback and honest assessments. A shame we aren't going to do a deal with them, but we'll try to work with them in the future if possible.

PRIVATE: Members Only

0
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0
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Quick Response

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Dr. Steve on 2009-12-15

PUBLIC:

Sent a "cold call email" to Kepha to test the waters. The turn-down was courteous & quick which is great for us and for Kepha as neither of us wants to waste any time (it's usually best to "go with what you know"). Here is the turn-down email:

PRIVATE: Members Only (246 Characters)

2
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1
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What a Good Guy And

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Mike Murray on 2009-01-09

PUBLIC:

I cold-eMailed Jo Tango to see if Kepha would be interested in my deal. He took the time to read my Exec Summary and got back to me in a few hours with some questions, and then called me later that evening to tell me they would pass because they did not focus on consumer deals. This all took place in about a 6-hour time span. Is that a first? Most other VCs would just go dark. Jo is a real down-to-earth guy and a breath of fresh air from the VC world.

PRIVATE: Members Only

1
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Great Experience

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-10-28

PUBLIC:

He passed, but was extremely pleasant and the answer was quick. Did not waste my time which is great.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Narrow View of the World

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-12-26

PUBLIC:

I pitch Jo recently and went through some preliminary due diligence with a friend of the firm. Jo seems smart and to the point and he declined quickly (which was appreciated).

PRIVATE: Members Only (405 Characters)

4
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Jo is a Great Guy and a Straight Shooter

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by orchid1_Scott A. on 2008-06-04

PUBLIC:

I met with Jo in November on what was then a very early stage idea. He was very generous with his time and very straightforward. He made it clear early on that my company was probably not a fit, at least at its current stage (current then).

He had great insights and feedback and I left very impressed with his knowledge of the internet space.

Did not formally pitch him on a deal, but he is certainly someone I would go back and speak to once we are looking in the VC direction.

Overall a great guy who you can trust.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Quick No

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-01

PUBLIC:

Tried to entice Jo to take a look at our fabless semi play but he respectfully declined.

PRIVATE: Members Only (406 Characters)

3
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Timely, Right to the Point

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by jumpingElvis on 2007-12-18

PUBLIC:

Jo did not invest in our company but we had a great meeting with him. We enjoyed the meeting, had an open discussion about the challenges we face and the exec team's track record (or lack thereof).

He responded back to us that he wasn't going to invest with a straight forward answer, not a rambling dissertation of what we needed to do to change our business.

We would consider him for follow on rounds or our next company.

PRIVATE: Members Only

5
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0
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Quick and Courteous

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-27

PUBLIC:

I was able to get a referral from a member of this website so I am guessing that made a difference.

Jo made the effort to contact me first and reviewed my bplan basically overnight. He came back with a "no" but instead of a short email he called with his answer - a very stand up move in my opinion.

PRIVATE: Members Only (249 Characters)

5
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Value Add, Honest VC

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by anonymous on 2007-11-13

PUBLIC:

I have pitched several projects to Jo over the past few years and found him the only VC who:
a) added value to my proposal with good questions and suggestions or connections even if he himself decided not to invest
b) was up-front and honest with me throughout the entire process. with Jo, you always know where you stand. He doesn't play any games - he's trustworthy and to me as an entrepreneur, that's key.

PRIVATE: Members Only (851 Characters)

5
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4
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Tango is a Great VC

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Anonymous on 2007-10-10

PUBLIC:

Jo Tango's example should be followed by more VCs. The posts here show that with a little bit of respect for the entrepreneur, a VC's reputation can become golden.

PRIVATE: Members Only (171 Characters)

10
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Upfront and Direct

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by snickers on 2007-09-21

PUBLIC:

I emailed Jo with an Executive Summary and, while it wasn't in his area of current interest, he responded immediately and decisively. There was no waffling or waiting to get a firm answer. There would be a lot less time wasted if more VC's were this honest.

PRIVATE: Members Only

6
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2
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Jo Tango is Excellent

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Duncan@cilk.com on 2007-09-07

PUBLIC:

Jo Tango is an absolute prince. He as honest, hard-working, and well-connected a VC as a Boston-area startup could ask for. He didn't fund my deal, but he was one of my top choices.

PRIVATE: Members Only (611 Characters)

8
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1
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Jo Tango/Kepha Partners: the Real Deal

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by n00bie on 2007-08-30

PUBLIC:

Unlike other posters I've only met Jo three times - the most recent being a pitch meeting where I was reminded once again that Jo's the Real Deal.

IMHO Kepha Partners fills a big void in the VC landscape - delivering the next wave of entrepreneurs precisely what they need: a solid starting point. I found him to be approachable, direct and as willing to quickly vet an idea conversationally - as he is to confront head-on a weak spot in the model.

What Kepha Partners has set out to do is a much needed departure from traditional firms. Unlike an earlier poster: At the end of the day raising a seed/series A round for my company is a pretty personal thing - I want to get to know the people that may own a piece and talking about politics, business and even the meaning of life _should_ be part of it.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Jo Tango is First Rate

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by bandrews on 2007-08-29

PUBLIC:

I have known Jo Tango for 9 years. He is one of the most honest people I have ever met. Jo's integrity is the highest a person can have. Jo backs his entrepreneurs and is always trying to help him. Jo has a great network of contacts to help his entrepreneurs success. He is smart, articulate, hard working and extremely supportive. Jo is a true early stage entrepreneur's best asset. Jo was on a a board of Directors where I was CEO and Jo is top notch. I highly recommend Jo Tango.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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Value Added After the Deal

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by cereal on 2008-01-17

PUBLIC:

Jo fought hard to get into our first round. It takes moxie and pull to get a first round completed through a big partnership, and you can't be afraid of first stage risks, of which there are plenty. You have to walk the walk. Jo actually rushed from behind, in terms of due diligence, and he impressed me with his ethics, risk tolerance, connections, and zeal. That was when Jo was with Highland.

When he mentioned starting Kepha, I applauded him since I think Boston desparately needs some smaller funds, which can move more aggressively to grab very early/exciting deals. And Jo can do early stage well.

After his investment was completed in my company (a few years ago), we started to see an amazing amount of value at the board level. I thought he would be helpful, but I frankly underestimated the degree. Jo's personal contribution was critical in helping us recruit other board members, find and hire key executives, help me push for measured growth at the board level, help us land more rounds with more top-tier firms, and perhaps most impressive: my company is still using sales leads which were derived from leads he gave us years ago! Those are things he did for us pretty much solo, by himself.

I highly recommend that all entrepreneur CEO's reference check your prospective funders. You are going to be married to your VC's for a while. The feedback I got for Jo was excellent, and painted the picture of a very different kind of VC. He will work very hard for you, and he won't give up. He has also seen things gone very wrong, as all experienced early stagers have also, and he is known for fair and often generous problem resolutions. That is important to me. Things will go wrong. Finally, he is known for not doing anything rash. I value that too. All that feedback resonates with my personal experiences with him.

Finally, Jo is known for supporting people over several companies, and over many years. He can be a powerful booster for you out there on your next deal, even if he doesn't invest in your last one.

He has a big fan club. Ask around. You can't miss them. That says a lot right there.

PRIVATE: Members Only (1628 Characters)

7
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A Well Connected Startup Coach

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by dave on 2007-08-25

PUBLIC:

Jo Tango operates differently than most VCs. Jo looks for people that could be entrepreneurs and he assists/coaches them during the pre-funded period to be successful in getting their company off the ground. He's also very well connected with many CIO/IT/Business Development people, and his introductions were critical in opening doors at the right time for my company.

PRIVATE: Members Only (257 Characters)

7
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More Than Money

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by boba1 on 2007-08-25

PUBLIC:

Talking with Jo, you had better have your act together- he is very smart, and will tell you exactly what he thinks in a fair, no-nonsense way. There is nothing ambiguous about his approach, a refreshing antidote to many of his peers. His ethics are also unimpeachable from my experience (and obviously I am not alone, as he was able to oversubscribe a fund in very little time!)

PRIVATE: Members Only (231 Characters)

6
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A VC Who Truly Loves to Start Companies

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by pigratdog on 2007-08-25

PUBLIC:

Jo is truly unique among the Boston VC community. He is an exceptional person who treats all entrepreneurs with respect - regardless of the quality or stage of their idea. He has a phenomenal network and leverages it for every one of his companies. In my experience working with Jo directly, he loves the process of starting companies and just happens to be a VC. There are few VCs in Boston that have the patience and commitment to work with startups - most have become what Jo calls "Venture Bankers" - but Jo is committed to working on great ideas with the best people and he embraces the uncertainty and ambiguity that makes startups both fun and terrifying.

PRIVATE: Members Only

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A Prince Among Froggs

Fund: Kepha Partners

Posted by Software Cowboy on 2007-08-24

PUBLIC:

We have to kiss a lot of froggs to find the prince.

Not so. Getting funded is about taking a complete and unique product to the right buyer. It's our job not theirs.

Jo had read all my stuff when I showed up, knew it cold, send me to one sharp guy, and made his commitment in a week. I was one guy with an idea and too early stage for everyone else. Jo had the expertice to see the value and the guts to act.

That was my experience and it was great.

PRIVATE: Members Only