Tech investor Richard Vague mulls a White House bid - Philly


Jan. 15, 2019 10:05 am

Tech investor Richard Vague mulls a White House bid

The Gabriel Investments managing partner told Philly Mag he'd done a series of focus groups with voters across the country. Vague 2020?
Investor Richard Vague.

Investor Richard Vague.

(Photo by the Institute for New Economic Thinking)

It turns out that tech investor Richard Vague — the Gabriel Investments managing partner who’s backed local companies such as Sidecar, Cloudamize and TicketLeap — has spent the past year thinking about a White House bid, should no one in the soon-to-be crowded Democratic landscape meet his standards.

In interviews with BuzzFeed and Philadelphia magazine, the Philly-based investor said he had spent the past year assembling over 20 focus groups in swing states across the country, listening to voters on key issues of concerns.

“Overwhelmingly, the issue was that every year their economic reality is this: They have a job, their income prospects are not such that they think they’ll be making a lot more in the future, and at the same time their [health insurance] premiums and deductibles go up every year,” Vague told BuzzFeed. “And so they’re kind of in this vice.”

Yup, that checks out.

Vague, who hails from Texas,  told Philly Mag’s Victor Fiorillo that it would be fair to say that, though he’s not ready to announce, if nobody steps up to the plate who he thinks is capable of doing what needs to be done, then he’d run.

Vague, it would seem, has an interest in tech training as part of the solution to the country’s problems. From the Philly Mag interview:

“We know that there are a lot of jobs that do pay well that employers are having a hard time filling: entry coding, computer repair, certain areas of med tech, construction tech, and high-tech assembly. I would ask folks why they didn’t go for one of these jobs, and the answer would be that they can’t afford the training or they can’t afford the time off from the job to get the training, or even if they could do it on nights and weekends, they couldn’t afford the child care that they’d need.”


The investor has an interest in philanthropy and serves on the Penn Medicine board of directors, among others. Prior to starting his investment firm, he was cofounder of Energy Plus, an electricity and natural gas supply company that was sold to NRG Energy in 2011. Before that, he cofounded and later sold a pair of credit card companies.

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