Two years ago, Jessica Kates co-founded Rellevant, an early-stage growth equity firm, unique because of the way they conduct business — they provide strategic advice, rooted in real business experience. That work experience comes through Jessica’s long line of diverse and exciting job opportunities — from investment banker to hedgefund manager, from CFO of an online consumer products retailer to CEO of a fashion startup in New York.

On my podcast, The Irresistible Factor, Jessica shares why she’s created a niche working with food-related, lower-middle market companies, particularly restaurants and restaurant technology. I was drawn to Rellevant because of who runs it: Jessica works alongside Janice Meyer, meaning that the firm is a female-founded company in a male-dominated industry. 

“The finance industry overall has made progress, and there’s a much higher percentage of women in the industry overall today than when I started back in 2000,” Jessica told me. “In private equity specifically, though, there’s still a very small percentage of women.” 

That’s why Jessica and Janice are driven to be “role models for women in the industry,” she said. 

We also discuss the value that Rellevant brings to their partners, some of the exciting companies they are investing in, and how they decide what to put their time and money into. Jessica shares valuable advice for founders with companies in the early stages of growth: “Make sure what you’re doing is on point with your strategy, and also work simultaneously to improve the brand equity. Because that’s the only thing you can really speak to at these early stages.”

Listen to The Irresistible Factor’s Interview with Jessica Kates, Private Equity Investor and Rellevant Co-Founder.

Here’s what you won’t want to miss from our conversation: 

  • Metrics that are and aren’t important at the stage of investment Rellevant is interested in
  • News about a progressive company that Rellevant has recently invested in as part of their Series B
  • What Jessica’s experience in operations was like, and what drew her back to private equity
  • Trends in the plant-based industry that Jessica and her partner are interested in from an investment perspective

 

Links mentioned in this episode: 

Rellevant Partners

Jessica Kates on LinkedIn

Motif

Yardbird