Valeas, led by ex-Hellman and Golden Gate execs, moves closer to debut target

The firm has made three investments out of the debut fund, including in Sequoia Financial Group.

A new shop led by former Hellman & Friedman and Golden Gate executives has collected more than $300 million for its debut amid a tougher fundraising market for emerging managers.

Valeas Capital, targeting $500 million, is among a group of first-time funds competing for capital from limited partners who are content to stick with their deepest relationships, to the detriment of new managers.

The firm, formed by co-founders Rob Little and Ed Woiteshek, formed in 2021. It’s not clear when the first fund hit the market.

Valeas filed its first Form D fundraising document, which generally indicates a first closing, in May 2022. As of February 2023, the firm managed about $291.2 million, according to its Form ADV.

Fund I has collected about $345 million so far, according to a person with knowledge of the firm.

Valeas targets investments in three categories: scaled transformations; buy and build; and earlier stage options in disruptive platforms, according to the firm’s Form ADV. It pursues certain principles when considering a transaction, including team first; growth bias; building fundamental, long-term value; specialized focus; mid-sized deals; flexible scope; and risk-adjusted returns, the ADV said.

“Valeas plans to use its attractive deal pipeline with its focus on proprietary or advantaged deal flow to create compelling return opportunities,” the document said.

The firm has made three investments out of the debut fund, including in Sequoia Financial Group. The firm last year committed more than $200 million to the company for a minority stake, according to a statement at the time.

In 2021, it led a $70 million investment in digital health company Well along with a group of 12 CEOs and senior partners at PE firms, a statement said. The firm also made another undisclosed digital health investment.

Little, co-founder and managing partner, and Woiteshek, co-founder, lead the firm. Little is principal owner of the management company, the Form ADV said.

Little previously worked at Golden Gate Capital from 2010 to 2020 as chief operating officer and managing director, and earlier worked at Hellman & Friedman for two years and Goldman Sachs, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Woiteshek worked at Hellman from 2004 to 2014 where he focused on financial services, healthcare, automotive services, digital media/commerce software and data services, his profile said. After Hellman he worked at CarProof, a provider of used car history and valuation data for consumers, as president and CEO, and worked at UK online food delivery company Deliveroo, his profile said.