October 06, 2021
Gauge Capital Named in Inc.'s 2021 List of Founder-Friendly Investors

Southlake, TX – Inc. today announced its third annual Founder-Friendly Investors list, honoring the private equity and venture capital firms with the best track record of success backing entrepreneurs. This is a shift from previous lists—which were called the Private Equity 50—since, for the first time, this year’s list will include venture capital firms, and more than 100 firms will earn our Founder-Friendly seal of approval.

The final list recognizes 146 firms that entrepreneurs can trust and collaborate with while receiving the financial support they need to help accelerate growth. All 146 have a successful track record of remaining actively involved in the businesses after their investment.

“Supporting an entrepreneur’s vision and driving growth is more than just a financial investment. It’s about building a relationship and supporting the founders beyond that initial year. These private equity firms treat the founders like partners,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. media.

“We are delighted to be recognized in such an esteemed list,” said Drew Johnson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Gauge. “Partnering with founder-backed businesses is our passion at Gauge Capital.”

“We are enthusiastic about investing with founders through a collegial partnership model, where we can be a valuable partner, and operate in parallel with founders to help achieve continued success,” said Tom McKelvey, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Gauge.

Gauge has a robust history of partnering with founder-led businesses to accelerate growth and deliver best-in-class outcomes for all stakeholders. Gauge is the largest investor in their own funds, and management ownership across the Gauge portfolio is two times the industry average, creating a unique differentiator that helps foster strong alignment and collaboration among founders and Gauge. Gauge looks forward to continuing to invest with founders and supporting their business growth plans post-transaction.

To compile the list, Inc. went straight to the source: entrepreneurs who have sold to private equity. Founders filled out a questionnaire about their experiences partnering with private equity firms and shared data on how their portfolio companies have grown during these partnerships.

To see the complete list, go to: 

Introduced in 2019, the Founder-Friendly Private Equity Firms list quickly established itself as one of Inc.’s most resourceful franchises. It has become a go-to guide for entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies while retaining an ownership stake.

The October 2021 issue of Inc. magazine is available online now at and will be on newsstands beginning October 5, 2021.

About Gauge Capital (

Gauge Capital is a leading middle-market private equity firm based in Southlake, Texas. Gauge invests in five key sectors: healthcare, technology, business services, government & industrial services, and food & consumer. The firm manages more than $2.0 billion in capital and in 2020 and 2021, Inc. Magazine named Gauge one of the top private equity firms for founders. In 2021, Gauge was also named to the Top 50 PE Firms in the Middle Market by Grady Campbell. For more information, please contact Andrew Peix, Managing Director of Business Development at