The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Rimas Kapeskas, UPS
Rimas Kapeskas joined postal delivery company UPS’s corporate venturing unit, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, as managing director in 2011, 14 years after its launch in 1997 but with a wealth of experience.
This tends to show in a few ways – knowing when to put forward startups to senior management even if it takes a decade for the business units to be ready or when to leave the credit to the portfolio companies.
On the second, an example shows Kapeskas’ worth. This month UPS made its first investment in Brazil, backing logistics company Mandae’s $7.1m series B round. Kapeskas had made a number of scouting trips to the country for the Corporate Venture in Brasil conference organised by inward investment agency Apex-Brasil in partnership with GCV and seen the company pitch there. Kapeskas said: “The progress Mandae made from the first [Corporate Venture in Brasil] event to the second was what really impressed me and made the investment come together.”
And he has been sharing his experience building up the investments team based on exits, such as radio-frequency identification company Impinj, which listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Impinj raised $67.2m when it priced its initial public offering at $14 a share, which was at the top of its $12 to $14 range. Founded in 2000, Impinj produces technology that uses integrated-circuit tags to identify, track and locate items such as clothing, medical supplies, auto parts, driving licences, food and luggage, and then to send the data to businesses that manage, sell or transport them.
Although he leads a small team, having expanded into Europe last year, he has spent time working inside the company, with advanced testing with portfolio companies, including CyPhy Works for drone deliveries and Peloton Technologies in connected vehicles. Last year, Peloton raised $60m.
In an interview for 2012’s GCV Powerlist, Kapeskas said: “I have been with UPS for a number of years [since 1984]. I previously served as director of our product research and development group, where we develop new products in-house. It has been an interesting transition moving over to the corporate venturing side. You go through many of the same steps trying to launch a new product internally as startups go through. You need to go shopping for internal support, resources and funding. There are a lot of parallels.”
Kapeskas gained his MBA from Emory University and his BSc from University of Connecticut.