Clarity Ventures, founded in 2011, is a private investment partnership and a principal investment firm in the classic sense, in which the investments are made with the personal capital of the active investment professionals, without calling upon the capital of a standing group of limited partners.

Steve Karan, the founder and Managing Partner of Clarity Ventures, is a 1991 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a 1997 graduate of Harvard Business School.  He began his active investment career in 1998 as a Partner with the Investment Group of Santa Barbara, where he compounded the Karan Fund at a rate in excess of 30% for 13 years.  

Steve’s primary approach has been to identify well-managed, entrepreneurial public and private companies early in their process of establishing dominant competitive positioning and essential roles in their operating ecosystems.  This focus, in combination with making concentrated investments at a time when such companies’ prospects are not yet fully appreciated, and maintaining a long-term perspective towards the evolution of a business and the holding period of the investment, have enabled extraordinary returns.

Clarity Ventures was founded as a versatile platform upon which to continue this investment approach, and also to enable partnership with other investors in select situations.  Jason Hughes, a 1995 graduate of Vanderbilt University who has worked closely with Steve since joining the Investment Group of Santa Barbara in 1998, is Clarity’s COO and an Investment Partner.  

One major benefit of Clarity Ventures’ structure is the elimination of any efforts towards fundraising, marketing, or client relations.  We are able to focus on the craft of finding the world’s most extraordinary investment opportunities.  We get to do what we enjoy most about investing: to find immensely motivated and talented managers and to understand the extremely valuable products, services, and companies they create.  We believe that this focus enhances not only our professional satisfaction, but also our returns.

Further, we have no style mandates to limit our opportunity set; no fund lifecycles that can force suboptimal time horizons; and no asset allocation requirements to dilute our time and capital. And since we are equally comfortable owning private and public companies, an initial public offering is just as likely to be the mid-point of our holding period as a beginning or ending.

Clarity Ventures is designed and intended to be supportive and collaborative in all directions.  We consider ourselves partners with management and do not attempt to exert unsolicited influence.  We value our dialogue with the managers of the companies in which we invest, and we’re proud of the excellent relationships we have built over the years.

Similarly, Clarity Ventures is an appealing co-investor.  We are not focused on promoting ourselves to current or potential limited partners by publicizing our portfolio.  We consider ourselves teammates with our co-investors, and enjoy sharing our thoughts and insights.  We maintain a presence on both coasts so that we can more easily discover opportunities and build relationships wherever they may be.  And when situations call for it, we can be nimble, flexible, and quick to act.