JD Vance says he is a job creator in the state of Ohio. Here’s what the numbers show.


“We are proud to say that in just over 2.5 years, Narya has already invested in three Ohio companies that have collectively created approximately 750 jobs,” Vance’s partner Falon Donohue said in a statement. communicated. “These companies are growing rapidly, so we anticipate even more hiring in the near term.”

Vance and Ryan are due to appear at Fox News town hall on Tuesday — their final campaign meeting. Ryan, who has tried to make Vance’s venture capital career a campaign issue, called Vance a “vulture capitalist from San Francisco.” In a recent ad, he highlights Vance’s personal investment in AcreTrader, which Ryan claims the sale of agricultural land to Chinese citizens.

Vance’s business record, including his estimate of job creation, is subject to interpretation.

Steve Stivers, the former Republican congressman and chairman of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, who remains neutral in this year’s Senate race, said the state’s job creation rate was as low as 1,000 jobs per month, so the addition of 750 new jobs is significant.

“The 750 jobs would be almost what the entire state gained in a month, which is pretty significant,” Stivers said.

But Jeff Sohl, director of the Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, noted that Narya was only one of 46 companies that contributed investments, so it cannot claim direct creation of the 750 jobs. .

“It would be impossible to analyze which investor is responsible for each job created,” Sohl said in an email. “If one assumes that each investor can take an equal share of job creation (which is a reasonable assumption), then at best Narya can claim 750 jobs divided by 46 investors, which equals 16 jobs .”

Former AOL Chairman and CEO Steve Case, who started the Rise of the Rest venture capital fund where Vance worked, told POLITICO that Vance’s political pivot to support Trump “comes as a surprise and frankly, a bummer,” but added that “supporting more startups in more parts of the country, obviously that’s what we’re looking for.

A partner at another Ohio-based venture fund, who was granted anonymity to speak freely about Vance’s business record, told POLITICO that “claiming responsibility for creating 1,000 jobs is definitely a scope. We measure job creation based on the additional jobs since our investment. »

Vance is best known to the public as the author of the bestselling 2016 memoir “Hillbilly Elegy” which tells the story of his difficult childhood in Appalachia and how he used military service and an Ivy League upbringing to ultimately succeed in finance.

Since 2016, Vance has worked for three venture capital firms. First, he was with Mithril, the company run by his political benefactor and mentor, Peter Thiel. Next, he spent a year at Rise of the Rest, the fund launched by Case, which focuses on investing in businesses from the heart.

In 2019, Vance returned to Ohio and founded his own venture capital firm with a Connecticut-based co-founder, naming it Narya after one of the author’s so-called power rings. JRR Tolkien, this one “fire.”

Vance’s business case has been part of his campaign since at least its launch last July. “What we need in Washington are not just leaders who talk about doing things,” he said during his campaign announcement last year, “but who actually did them and will continue to do them. to do them”.

“JD is committed to building a business in Ohio,” Vance campaign spokeswoman Taylor Van Kirk said in a statement ahead of the Oct. 10 Senate debate. “In its early days, it helped create hundreds of jobs in Buckeye State, and it will be a catalyst for even more jobs in Ohio in the future.”

After the debate, the Vance campaign spokesperson said that Vance’s estimate that he had created “nearly” 1,000 jobs included their figure of 750, and also pointed to hundreds of additional jobs in which Vance’s business has invested outside of Ohio.

Narya, who paid Vance about $327,000 in salary last year, is backed by Thiel, Google co-founder Eric Schmidt and investor Marc Andreessen. One of its biggest investments resides outside of the United States: YouTube’s right-wing Canadian competitor, Rumble. Narya has only four employees, including Vance.

Narya’s three investments in Ohio are located near the state’s capital and largest city, Columbus. They are: Branch, an umbrella provider of home and auto insurance; AmplifyBio, a commercial drug discovery company; and Strive Asset Management, an index fund company. None of the three Ohio companies in which Narya has invested count Vance’s company as their sole financial backer.

Vance’s campaign also told POLITICO he would quit Narya if he won in November, but declined to make the candidate or any of his Narya partners available for an interview.

Only one of the Ohio companies Narya invests in — AmplifyBio — returned POLITICO emails asking for clarification on how many jobs Narya’s investments directly support and the median salary they pay. The drug developer said it employed 231 people after a $200 million funding round, to which Narya contributed.

AmplifyBio is perhaps Vance’s biggest success in Narya, but one for which he cannot claim exclusive credit. Focused on vaccine technologies as well as drug development, the company grew from 120 employees in 2021 after two early investments. Narya was one of four investors, which also included Battelle Memorial Institute, Casdin Capital and Viking Capital.

A spokesperson for AmplifyBio reported a median salary of $62,400, higher than the state median household income of $58,116. The person added that the company was building a 350,000 square foot extension in the city of New Albany. They did not immediately respond to a follow-up question about what the employees had done.

In total, Ohio is home to 38% of the 1,975 jobs Narya says his investments have created in nine states. Including Kentucky, where Vance has family roots and where Narya has 600 jobs, that figure rises to 68%. In total, the company made only 12 investments, according to Crunchbase — and Ohio has seen more of its dollars flow there than any other state.

Vance’s personal track record, meanwhile, shows some investment in Ohio businesses. According to his campaign, the venture capitalist has personal investments of around $1 million in companies linked to at least two venture capital funds. Of this figure, no less than $161,000 is invested in five Ohio companies through two venture capital funds with which he was affiliated.

Branch, the insurance company founded in 2017, employs about 400 people, up from 300 employees in the last year alone. That growth was fueled by a $147 million fundraising round, led by Weatherford Capital, which Narya participated in along with 11 other companies in June.


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