Great technology companies can emerge anywhere.


Building compelling technology companies in middle America.

Cloud-Based Software

We invest in companies who deliver B2B software technology services via the cloud using a subscription based business model. The solution doesn’t have to be bleeding edge but it should give the company a unique opportunity to target a new emerging market or to disrupt an existing market. In either case, this means potential for outsized growth.


We will invest anywhere in the U.S. but our roots are in middle America and like the fact that companies here tend to be a little more pragmatic. We will not be shy about investing for growth when the conditions warrant, but growing your business in a capital efficient manner works just fine too.

Early Growth

We prefer to invest our initial capital once the company has achieved at least $1 million in annualized recurring revenue. This means better clarity on customer traction and the operating characteristics of the business. Having said that, most of our investments have come from pre-existing relationships, so we do like to get to know entrepreneurs early.


We invest where we can make a contribution.

In-platform automated operational reporting for the ServiceNow ecosystem.

Bundled customer data platform for e-commerce and retail

ESG and EHSQ data connection and intelligence platform.

AI marketing automation for multi-family.

The complete video platform for creation, sharing, and monetization.

VR experiences for healthy behavior.

Marketing lead prospecting solutions. 

Podcast discovery and content.

Acquired by ACast in 2022.

Inventory and warehouse management system for e-commerce.

Acquired by Linnworks in 2022.

Healthcare revenue cycle management software.

Acquired by Bain Capital in 2017.

Software testing and QA tools.

Acquired by Insight Venture Partners in 2017.

Integrated enterprise marketing software.

Acquired by Teradata in 2011.

Each of the above investments was made by John H. Willmoth, either as a private investor or as Managing Partner of Poplar Ventures, L.P.


Life is short…choose your partners carefully.


Small beginnings. Humble, hungry, and competitive. The belief that you can do something better, but that nothing is preordained and you have to work your tail off to achieve it. It’s those early experiences that guide you and become part of your culture. We value founders and entrepreneurs who are well grounded.


The genesis of a company is important. Our experience suggests the best companies and entrepreneurs evolve naturally from a customer need or a deep understanding that there is a better way. We don’t claim to be visionaries but we do recognize that the ongoing democratization of technology creates opportunities. We leverage our experience with growth companies and subscription based software technology to help entrepreneurs build compelling companies in places you might not expect.


Having a passion for what you are doing is important. But it’s not enough. You still have to pay attention to the details and get things done. It helps to have investors who have been there before. We have been on the front lines of Nextel’s growth from a startup to a $15 billion revenue company. We have worked side by side with management at both pre-revenue companies and emerging companies scaling past $100 million in revenues. We understand what a growth company looks like and what is needed to scale.


We don’t believe in shortcuts and we don’t believe in overnight success. We know firsthand that being part of an early growth stage company is not always pretty. But our experience also tells us that there are almost always solutions. The best companies and entrepreneurs are transparent about what they are facing and keep solving for answers. We are not afraid of being on that journey with you.


Never stop learning. Don’t assume that what works today will work tomorrow. And figure out what works best for your individual company. Not every industry is the same. Not every customer profile is the same. Some products are more complicated to build, sell, or deliver. Entrepreneurs bring different skill sets. We believe that every company should be treated on its own merits.


John H. Willmoth

Founder and Managing Partner

John has over thirty years of corporate development and investment experience, including a long tenure as a senior executive at Nextel, over a dozen venture investments, and service on multiple corporate Boards. His investment experience spans seed, early, and growth stages for private, institutional, and corporate ventures. 

Investment and Portfolio Support

Poplar Ventures’ has the support of a handful of Investment Advisory Partners who have direct experience with scaling growth stage technology based companies. These individuals are available to the core team for input on market conditions, investments, and portfolio company operations. Investment Advisory Partners are not employed by the firm and are not registered investment advisers. 

Vik Chadha

Vik Chadha

Founder and CEO of Scalable Ventures, a firm investing in and creating innovative software products.  Co-founder of GlowTouch Technologies and Backupify.

Michael Davis

Michael Davis

Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Appriss. Two time winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and 2019 inductee to the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Chris Joseph

Chris Joseph

Chairman of YuzeData and three time successful entrepreneur. Experience leading global software platforms and has served on multiple private equity backed Boards.

Jim Lacy

Jim Lacy

Operating Partner at New Mountain Capital. Experienced CFO, General Counsel, M&A, and Product focused executive working within high growth enterprise companies.

Greg Langdon

Greg Langdon

Experienced technology executive with a background in corporate and product strategy. Advisor and mentor to over 100 companies as part of three accelerator programs.

Chris Schremser

Chris Schremser

CTO of Waystar and predecessor Zirmed for two decades. Experience as the lead architect of a technology platform operating in a complex regulatory environment.

Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Senior Microsoft executive leading customer transformation to cloud services. Experience with AI, data center modernization, IoT, cloud application development and DevOps.


The latest from Poplar Ventures.

Poplar Ventures’ John Willmoth on Hot Streak After Two Recent Exits

A conversation with Kevin Scott, author of “Reprogramming the American Dream”

How SkuVault went from Bootstrapping to a Major Acquisition Deal

Capital In Kentucky via podcast by Middle Tech Podcast