Helping Companies Navigate Growth
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WE CHOSE TO CREATE A NEW PATH

Capital is an important component for growth—but raising money is not the only ingredient for long-term success. Investors or a bank can provide capital, a search firm can help find talent, and consultants can offer business advice and implementation expertise.

But what if there was a single partner that could provide all of those things?

We created Range Light to fill that void in today’s marketplace, to provide business owners with a better way to navigate everything that comes along with growing a business.

We are an investment firm unlike others.

WE ARE DIFFERENT

  • We invest our own capital to align ourselves completely as equity partners. That means we stand side-by-side with our portfolio partners through good times and bad. We don’t have to report our results to other investors, just ourselves, which gives us a very different mindset than traditional investment firms.
  • We are patient investors. Our goal is to build long-term partnerships, not quick exits. We work with management to build sustainable companies that we can all be proud of. Our investments don’t have defined time horizons.
  • We enjoy collaboration and understand the value it can create. Our greatest successes have come through working with great people all focused on a common goal. We know that the value of a cohesive group is always greater than the sum of its individual parts.
  • We are former business owners and operators.We know the challenges of running a business day to day. We like to be as actively involved in our portfolio partners as they’d like and we want to put our experience and expansive network to work for them.

Our values guide us

Our philosophy is based on five core principles. These principles are extremely important to us and guide every decision we make as a partnership.

FIT IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US

It drives our decision-making process. While a return on our investment is important, building long-term partnerships means even more to us. Two critical components to the success of any partnership are alignment and respect. If you don’t have the same goals or mutual level of respect, this will always lead to dysfunction. Life is too short to be in conflict or unhappy.

WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:

We typically invest between $1 million and $20 million in equity to fuel growth, strengthen the business, or provide liquidity for existing share holders. We are willing to take a minority or majority stake depending on the circumstances.
We partner with companies that have annual revenue run rates of $1 million to $30 million.

An innovative, best-in-class business

Exceptional, passionate,values-driven leadership

A defensible market position in an industry with growth potential

A history of strong and sustainable operating margins

SPECIFIC INDUSTRY FOCUS:

  • Portfolio Image
    Active
    Lifestyle
  • Portfolio Image
    NATURAL
    FOODS
  • Portfolio Image
    TECHNOLOGY
    SERVICES

We are runners, triathletes, skiers and swimmers. We are passionate about living active and healthy lives and value our inclusion in the outdoor community.

We have seen the growth in outdoor gear, athletic products, cycling, and other related consumer categories first hand over the past 20 years, and we look forward to being a part of its continued growth with our Boulder-based location.

Range Light partners with authentic, innovative businesses and brands that inspire and empower people to lead a healthier and more active life.

As parents, conscious consumers, and inhabitants of this planet, we strive to recognize the impact that our food choices have on our bodies and the environment. We are passionate about the food ecosystem and about providing people with access to healthy food.

Range Light seeks to leverage our relationships in the natural food industry and our experience scaling fast-growing businesses to help founders overcome the challenges in taking their company to the next level.

Located in Boulder, the epicenter of the natural food industry, we partner with authentic brands and innovative companies that are led by thoughtful leaders.

Technology is the backbone of many industries. It serves as the driver of user experience for consumers and it can enhance a company’s workflow and productivity in a significant way.

Range Light understands the value that information services, data, consumer platforms, and other technology businesses create and we have the know-how to leverage and scale technology to fuel future growth.

We partner with like-minded, collaborative business owners who can use our experience and vast networks to enhance and grow their company.

PORTFOLIO PARTNERS

With cultural fit being so important to us, we look to align ourselves with likeminded individuals that share a similar outlook in both business and in life. We value these collaborative relationships and are proud to call these companies our partners.

Cotopaxi creates innovative outdoor products and experiences that help alleviate poverty, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.

Bobo's oat bars are a wholesome snack produced in a small-batch baking process that has captivated loyal fans nationwide.

The Pro’s Closet is the largest marketplace of pre-owned bikes and cycling gear on the internet.

Made from just 5 whole food ingredients, SIMPLE Squares are a snack you can feel good about.

Boulder Investment Group Reprise is a leading investment fund in the natural food space. Through our relationship with BIGR, our capital is deployed in several innovative food and beverage companies.

Freedom Electronics buys, sells, remanufacturers, and recycles a variety of electronic parts and components.

Who We Are

Range Light was started in 2012 by Erich Tengelsen and Tao Huang. Although we came from different industries, we share a common desire to recreate the best part of our previous careers-working with exceptional people to build world-class companies.

Erich is a founding partner of Chicago Trading Company (CTC) a leading market-making firm that specializes in exchange listed derivatives. The firm started in 1995, and during his 15 years he served as co-CEO, he guided the growth of the company from eight employees to 325, with offices in Chicago, New York and London. His responsibilities included trading, risk management, human resources and managing senior technology personnel.

Erich stepped away from the day-to-day operations of CTC at the end of 2009 to start The Tengelsen Family Foundation, which focuses on inner-city education and childhood obesity. The foundation’s mission is to partner with local organizations to help them expand their vision and scope.

Prior to starting CTC, Erich began his career in the financial industry at O’Connor and Associates in 1986. O’Connor was a pioneer in the derivatives business. Erich was running the US index market making operation when he left in 1995.

Erich has a BA in finance from Pace University. He put himself through night school by working at Paine Webber during the day as a bond interest clerk.

Erich loves to stay active. He is a passionate skier, scuba diver and regularly competes in triathlons. His other interests include music and politics, but most importantly, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Samantha and Zachary.

Tao is formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Morningstar, Inc. Over the course of his tenure as COO, Morningstar’s revenue grew from $70 million in 2000 to $550 million in 2010.

Prior to his role as COO, Tao spent three years as Morningstar’s president of the International Division, during which he and his team launched operations in 18 different countries through startups, joint ventures and acquisitions. He also held numerous leading technology roles at Morningstar, including 15 years as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer.

Tao received a BS in computer science from Hunan University (China), an MS in computer science from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He currently serves on the boards of several companies, including one of the largest asset management firms in the country. He is a senior advisor to Tur Partners, a global advisory firm founded by Richard M. Daley, the former mayor of Chicago.

Tao is not afraid to work hard, but playing harder is his preference. He’s been happily married to his wife, Katie, for 25 years, and they have three children, Jeanette, Jessika and Sean.

Kishore comes to Range Light from Morningstar, Inc., where he headed two lines of business—Commodities and Real-Time Data. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of sales, where he developed and led the Institutional Sales Division and Sales Operations Group. During his tenure, sales doubled and strategic accounts tripled.

Kishore played an instrumental role in executing Morningstar’s acquisition strategy through target company identification, due diligence and acquisition integration. Prior to Morningstar he was a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting and also has prior experience as a process/quality engineer for a manufacturing company.

Kishore received his BS in chemical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India. He holds a MS in chemical engineering from the University of Toledo and a MBA from the University of Chicago. He’s an entrepreneur at heart, and his personal portfolio includes various real estate and hospitality investments.

Kishore and his wife Sue’s biggest investment is the time spent driving their two boys, Karan and Kunal, to and from hockey and football practices.

Jim comes to Range Light in the role of chief technology officer, providing technical leadership to Range Light’s active lifestyle and natural foods portfolio.

Technology is a key component underpinning success for rapidly growing companies. The best business technology solutions include the right mix of business intelligence, workflow automation and customer relationship management. There is rarely a decent one-size-fits-all option for a specific company’s needs.

Jim works collaboratively to define integrated strategies and customized solutions -- including cloud infrastructure design and management, eCommerce systems, workflow automation, CRM, data warehouse, and business intelligence systems -- for leveraging technology to take the company to the next level.

Jim has over 25 years’ experience designing and building analytical and transactional systems for the financial markets including CME Group, Chicago Trading Co., Citibank, Lava Trading and Greenwich Capital. He loves technology and people, and works to maintain a balance between management and hands on capability and knowledge. Jim enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, gardening and playing the guitar. He currently resides in Montclair, New Jersey but will be moving with his wife and 3 sons to Boulder, Colorado before the school year begins.

Luke Vernon joined Range Light in 2015. From 2004-2013, Luke was COO of venture-backed Eco-Products, the nation’s leading brand of sustainable foodservice products. During that time, he led the company’s growth from less than $1 million in revenue to over $80 million while being responsible for sales, marketing, product development, ecommerce, distribution, and the company’s global supply chain operations. Eco-Products was acquired by a strategic buyer in 2012.

From 2013-2015, Luke was involved in a number of ventures, including an entrepreneurial private equity firm he founded, a natural foods startup in which he was the interim CEO, and as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence for a natural-food-focused venture capital firm.

Luke founded in 2010 which helps active lifestyle, natural foods, and tech companies hire talented professionals. He is also a mentor at Techstars, a leading startup accelerator program, where he advises early stage tech startups. Luke began his career as a management consultant for Deloitte.

Luke received a B.S. degree from Cornell University where he played basketball for the Big Red. He also has an MBA from the University of Colorado and was an entrepreneurship fellow at Stanford University. In 2010, Luke was recognized on Boulder Valley’s 40 Under 40 business leader list.

Luke resides in Boulder with his wife and three children where they can be found on the hiking trails on the weekends or participating in kids sports activities.

Lauren Ivison is the newest member of the Range Light team. Based in Boulder, she brings broad transactional and advisory experience across finance, law, and management consulting to the firm’s active lifestyle and natural foods portfolio.

Prior to joining Range Light, Lauren spent five years in boutique investment banking, first as a Vice President at LJS Capital and later as an Associate Partner with ClearCreek Partners. While in these roles, Lauren advised emerging growth companies across a variety of industries on capital raises and strategic transactions ranging from $3 to $30 million.

Before becoming an investment banker, Lauren was an attorney at the Denver-based law firm of Holme, Roberts & Owen (now Bryan Cave, LLP). In 2009, she was awarded the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year award by the Boulder County Bar Association. Lauren began her career working with Fortune 500 companies as a management consultant at MarketBridge in Bethesda, MD. Most recently, Lauren was with the Private Bank at JP Morgan counseling wealthy families and individuals on financial and investment matters.

A native of Colorado and daughter of two former ski school instructors, Lauren is an avid skier who has made tracks in Alaska, Canada, and Japan. In summer months she trades her skis for bikes and hiking boots to explore the Boulder trails with her Australian Shepherd, Maya. Lauren is also a long-time volunteer at Boulder County Legal Services.

Lauren holds a BA from Hamilton College where she was a swimmer and an outdoor program leader.She has a JD from the University of Colorado School of Law and holds FINRA Series 7, 63 and 79 licenses.

Sophia grew up in Northern China prior to coming to the United States to pursue her career ambitions. She assists in coordinating Range Light's efforts to identify and qualify new investment opportunities and provides support to the firm's analytical and due diligence process.

In addition to handling many of the firm's administrative functions, Sophia also works closely with Range Light's operating companies by providing detailed data analytics and project management.

Sophia received her bachelor’s degree in investments from Central University of Finance and Economics in China and her master’s in project management from Northwestern University. She is spending her weekends on pursuing MBA at University of Chicago Booth Business School.

Sophia has quickly become acquainted to living in the States. She enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, sailing, windsurfing and skydiving.

Now you know a little bit about us. If you like what you see, and if you think we might be a good fit for your business, let’s connect. We can learn more about you and your goals, and you can get to know us better.