Nitin Rai, Elevate Capital Fund II Founding Partner

Fund: Elevate Capital Fund II
Elevate Capital 
Hillsboro, OR

What It Is: In 2016, Elevate Capital’s founding partner, Nitin Rai, created Elevate Capital Fund I, a $10 million venture fund for entrepreneurs who have historically been excluded by the traditional venture capital community in Oregon and Pacific Northwest. Now, Rai and his three partners, Jill Nelson, Raghu Raghavan, and Kumar Sripadam, formed a second $40 million Fund II. Fund II aims to achieve similar metrics but with larger check sizes and an increased geographical footprint. Elevate employs seven investment professionals and three support staff.

Minimum Investment Size: $125-250k for individuals and $1M for institutional investors

Track Record of Firm: In four years, Elevate Capital has invested in 29 companies and has had two exits with an additional 10 markups. These metrics have led to an IRR of 15.4%. Elevate Capital has distributed 40% of the Fund back to its investors in cash. More than 80% of the founders in its inaugural fund are women and minorities, with 17% African American, 11% LatinX and 9% LGBTQ. 

Quote: On why Elevate Capital returned cash to investors early: “Otherwise, it’s all just charity. It was important to show that these companies can get to liquidity in a faster amount of time, and so we did it.” – Nitin Rai

This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit and connect with and