22 Best Venture Capital (VC) Firms in Chicago

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If you’re launching a startup or looking to accelerate your business growth, Chicago’s vibrant venture capital scene has much to offer. In this guide, we spotlight the leading VC firms that are known for their dynamic support of startups and strong investment track records. Let’s find out which firm might be the best fit for your business ambitions.

Chicago Ventures

Chicago Ventures, founded in 2011, is based in Chicago, Illinois. The firm focuses on investing in seed-stage and early-stage companies. It primarily invests in technology companies in Chicago and the Greater Midwest, with each initial investment generally ranging from $750K to $1M. Chicago Ventures is known for leading funding rounds of seed-stage startups and has a portfolio that includes names like Cameo, SpotHero, and project44.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, Canada, Italy, India

Operating since: 2011

Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B

Investment Focus: Enterprise & Consumer Tech (Analytics, Sales & Marketing SaaS, Payments/Loyalty, Healthcare IT, Marketplace/On-Demand Services)

Number of investments: 171

Number of exits: 56

Check size: $750k – $1m

Notable investments: M1 Finance, Sunbit

Founders/Key People: Stuart Larkins, Rob Chesney

Website: https://chicagoventures.com 

Dipalo Ventures

Dipalo Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments, particularly at the intersection of physical and digital technologies. Founded with a focus on pre-seed to early-stage rounds, they primarily invest in physical products designed for sustainability. Dipalo Ventures stands out for its unique approach of incorporating hands-on product design and engineering reviews into its due diligence process. This approach includes a 6-week Residency program post-investment to mitigate product-related risks. 

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA

Operating since: 2016

Stages: Pre-Seed,Seed,Series A

Investment Focus: Connected Hardware,HardTech,Hardware,Software, Mobility

Number of investments: 19

Number of exits: 2

Check size: $100k – $5m

Notable investments: Jiobit, Azumo

Founders/Key People: Rafiq Ahmed, Monika Razdan 

Website: https://dipaloventures.com 

Energy Foundry

Energy Foundry is a venture capital firm that invests in cleantech startups, with a particular focus on innovative energy technologies. Illinois established it through the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA). The firm offers seed money ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 and early-stage investments from $500,000 to $1.5 million. Energy Foundry provides funding, mentoring, and support to foster the growth of Illinois-based companies. It aims to build a robust energy tech ecosystem in the Midwest and reinvest profits into other businesses as an evergreen fund​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, Canada

Operating since: 2012

Stages: Seed,Series A,Series B

Investment Focus: Energy,EnergyTech,CleanTech (Advanced Materials,Software, Data Analytics, Semiconductors, Storage,IoT,Sensors,Batteries,Solar,Recycling,Smart Grid)

Number of investments: 31

Number of exits: 6

Check size: $50k – $1.5m

Notable investments: Span, NanoGraf

Founders/Key People: Jason Blumberg, Matt Vanhoeven

Website: https://www.energyfoundry.com

Hyde Park Angels 

Hyde Park Angels (HPA) is a prominent early-stage investment organization based in Chicago, Illinois, founded in April 2007 by Chicago Booth classmates. It distinguishes itself in the venture capital space with a “People First” model, emphasizing the importance of operational expertise, a robust business network, and venture capital in propelling startup success. This approach not only aids founders in transforming their businesses into industry leaders but also ensures investors receive top-tier returns. HPA focuses on a variety of sectors, including enterprise, consumer, healthcare, and technology, primarily targeting Seed, Series A, and Series A+ funding rounds in the Midwest region.  

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: Midwest region of the United States

Operating since: 2007

Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B

Investment Focus: Enterprise, Software, Consumer Goods, Consumer Services, FinTech, MarTech, Life Sciences, Health Care, Food, Transportation, Education, Media, Cyber Security, Fashion, Internet of Things

Number of investments: 192

Number of exits: 46

Check size: $100k – $10m

Notable investments: Provi, ShipBob, Sifter

Founders/Key People: Pete Wilkins, Michael Sachaj

Website: http://www.hpa.vc/

Hyde Park Venture Partners

Hyde Park Venture Partners (HPVP) is an early-stage venture capital firm with a keen focus on high-growth technology startups located in the Midwest. Established in 2011 and based in Chicago, Illinois, HPVP specializes in investing in early-stage tech companies particularly in sectors like SaaS, ad-tech, and mobile technology. With offices in both Chicago and Indianapolis, HPVP is well-positioned to support startups in the mid-continent region. The firm is dedicated to finding startups with exceptional founding teams and significant growth potential, typically looking to raise their first or second round of capital.  

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: USA

Operating since: 2011

Stages: Seed, Series A

Investment Focus: Enterprise Software (Sales Enablement, MarTech, Big Data, IoT), Consumer Tech, Consumer Marketplaces

Number of investments: 177

Number of exits: 62

Check size: $100k – $10m

Notable investments: Fourkites, G2, Amperity

Founders/Key People: Victoria Leon, Tim Kopp

Website: https://www.hydeparkvp.com/

Jump Capital

Jump Capital is a venture capital firm based in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 2012. It is known for its thesis-led, sector-focused approach, specializing in early-stage (Seed/Series A) investments. The firm targets data-driven technology companies within specific sectors: FinTech, B2B SaaS, IT/Data Infrastructure, and Media. Jump Capital provides not just financial investments but also advocacy and support to its portfolio companies, offering institutional-level resources to help entrepreneurs scale their businesses.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, Singapore, Israel, India, United Kingdom, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Philippines, Austria, Canada, France.

Operating since: 2012

Investment Focus: Enterprise Software (Infrastructure, Cyber Security, SaaS), FinTech (InsurTech, Crypto, Blockchain, Analytics, Personal Finance), Internet / Digital (Consumer & Enterprise Marketplaces), Media, Digital Health.

Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Post-Seed, Series A, Series B+.

Number of investments: 226

Number of exits: 32

Check size: $1M – $10M

Notable investments: NEAR Protocol, BitPanda

Founders/Key People: Michael McMahon

Website: https://jumpcap.com/

Lakewest Venture Partners

Lakewest Venture Partners, established in 2013 and based in Chicago, Illinois, operates as a venture capital investment firm focusing on seed and early-stage investment opportunities. This firm is an affiliate of Lakewest, Inc., a company involved in real estate and private equity. The leadership team includes Buzz Ruttenberg, David Mann, and Jonathan McCulloch, highlighting its foundation of experienced and knowledgeable industry professionals.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States.

Operating since: 1947

Investment Focus: Enterprise Software, AI, ML, Data Analytics, Real Estate, PropTech, Consumer Tech, HealthTech, E-commerce, Fashion, MarTech, Digital Media, Gaming, EdTech, Marketplaces.

Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Post-Seed, Series A, Series B+.

Number of investments: 38

Number of exits: 10

Check size: $100K – $1M

Notable investments: Blitsy, ZipWhip

Founders/Key People: David Mann

Website: https://lakewestinc.com/

Lightbank Ventures

Lightbank is a venture capital firm based in Chicago, founded in 2010 by Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. They focus on early-stage investments across various sectors, including internet, software, climate tech, and consumer brands. Their typical investment range is $2 million to $3 million.

Lightbank boasts a successful portfolio with notable exits like Grubhub, Trunk Club, and Doordash. Their current team consists of experienced investors and partners, seeking to identify and support promising startups with high growth potential.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany

Operating since: 2010

Investment Focus: FinTech, Consumer, Digital Media, Enterprise Software.

Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Post-Seed, Series A, Series B+.

Number of investments: 190

Number of exits: 47

Check size: $50k – $750K

Notable investments: Udemy, SproutSocial

Founders/Key People: Matt Sacks

Website: https://www.lightbank.com/

Lofty Ventures

Lofty Ventures is a venture capital firm with a strong focus on founder development. The firm does not have a specific diversity mandate but highlights that nearly three-quarters of its startups are led by underrepresented founders, emphasizing its belief in the benefits of a diverse startup community.

Lofty Ventures prides itself on investing in startups with founders who are brilliant, scrappy, gritty, coachable, and passionate about solving problems. The firm is industry agnostic, preferring to invest in products that contribute to community building or personal use.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: United States, Canada, Gibraltar.

Operating since: 2014

Investment Focus: E-commerce,Web Apps,Mobile Apps,Enterprise Software,Consumer Products.

Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A.

Number of investments: 88

Number of exits: 5

Check size: $10k – $1m

Notable investments: Paladin, Gunslinger.

Founders/Key People: Christopher Deutsch, Ryota Sekine

Website: https://loftyventures.com

M25 Ventures

M25 is an early-stage venture firm based in Chicago, specializing in investing in tech startups headquartered in the Midwest. Established in 2015, M25 has become the most active investor in its region. M25 is known for its concentration on Series A investments and has made significant strides in diversifying its investment portfolio​​​​​​​​​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, Sweden.

Operating since: 2015

Investment Focus: Big Data Analytics & IoT,Consumer Apps, E-commerce, EdTech, GovTech & LegalTech,Enterprise/B2B,SaaS/Software,Media & Entertainment & Sports, FinTech & Banking,Food & Beverage/FoodTech,Digital Health/HealthTech Hardware, MarTech/AdTech, Real Estate/PropTech,Transportation & Logistics

Stages: Pre-seed, Seed, Series A, Series B+.

Number of investments: 194

Number of exits: 20

Check size: $1M – $3M

Notable investments: Axuall, Astronomer, Branch App.

Founders/Key People: Mike Asem, Victor Gutwein

Website: https://m25vc.com

Manifold Investments

Manifold Group, founded in 2010 and based in Chicago, Illinois, operates as a unique venture holding company. It combines an advisory firm, venture fund, and incubation and acceleration studio under one roof. The organization was established to exploit opportunities in disruptive new business models and technologies. It focuses on funding early and seed stage ventures, and is involved in company building from formation to pre-seed stages. Manifold Group also offers innovation and strategy consulting services. This multifaceted approach allows Manifold Group to provide comprehensive support to the companies it invests in, not just in terms of capital but also through strategic guidance and operational support​​​​​​​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, Canada.

Operating since: 2019.

Investment Focus: FinTech,Consumer Internet,FoodTech,B2B,SaaS,Software,Digital Transformation,Emerging Tech,Blockchain,AI/ML.

Stages: Pre-seed, Seed, Post-Seed, Series A.

Number of investments: 6

Number of exits: 0

Check size: $250K – $1M

Notable investments: Banyan, YellowBird.

Founders/Key People: Matt Anarde, Joe Dwyer

Website: https://www.manifold.group/

MATH Venture Partners

MATH Venture Partners, founded in 2014, is a venture capital firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The firm specializes in early to middle-stage funding, focusing on digital and technical companies. MATH Venture Partners invests in teams that have a unique advantage in customer acquisition, and they target a range of industries. The firm prides itself on its operational expertise, having collectively built and scaled businesses worth over $7 billion.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA, UK, Denmark, Canada.

Operating since: 2015.

Investment Focus: SaaS/Software, Data Analytics,Marketplaces, E-commerce, Consumer, Enterprise/B2B.

Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Post-Seed, Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 63

Number of exits: 12

Check size: $100K – $2M

Notable investments: Acorns, LogicGate.

Founders/Key People: Mark Achler, Dana Wright

Website: https://www.mathventurepartners.com

Moderne Ventures

Moderne Ventures, founded in 2015 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a strategic venture capital firm. The firm predominantly invests in technology companies operating within the substantial industries of real estate, finance, insurance, and home services. Moderne Ventures has an expansive approach, focusing on technologies innovating around real estate, finance, insurance, ESG, and home services industries.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: United States, France, United Kingdom, Finland, India, Canada.

Operating since: 2015.

Investment Focus: Real Estate/PropTech,Mortgage,FinTech/InsurTech,Hospitality,Home Services,B2B/Enterprise,SaaS/Software,Data & Analytics,Consumer Internet/Consumer Tech, IoT.

Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Post-Seed, Series A, Series B+.

Number of investments: 103

Number of exits: 21

Check size: $1M – $7M

Notable investments: ICON, Better Mortgage

Founders/Key People: Constance Freedman, Alex Allison

Website: https://www.moderneventures.com

Network Ventures

Network Ventures, founded in 2016 and based in Chicago, Illinois, is a venture capital firm that specializes in seed-stage investments. The firm primarily focuses on seed stage companies, providing venture capital support to help these businesses grow and scale. The firm is known for its strategic involvement in the companies it invests in, often taking an active role post-investment, including potential board membership. Network Ventures has a strong regional focus, investing mainly in the Midwest region of the United States​​​​​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: USA

Operating since: 2016

Investment Focus: Software,Internet Companies,Network Effects (Marketplaces, Networks,Platforms).

Stage: Seed, Post-Seed, Series A.

Number of investments: 26

Number of exits: 4

Check size: $250K – $2M

Notable investments: ShipBob, HuntClub

Founders/Key People: Jeffery Maters, Ale Breuer

Website: https://networkventures.com/

New Stack Ventures

New Stack Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Chicago, Illinois, known for investing in early-stage startups, particularly those that are pre-revenue, in pilots/proofs of concept, or in the early stages of commercialization. The firm is recognized for its approach of making angel, pre-seed, and seed stage investments. After its first fund demonstrated top decile performance, New Stack Ventures raised a significantly larger second fund of $42.6 million to further its investment strategy, reflecting its commitment to supporting transformative startups​​​​​​​​​​.

Headquarters: USA

Investment Geography: United States, Canada

Operating since: 2015

Investment Focus: DeepTech,HardTech,Internet of Things,Smart Hardware,Connected Devices,Artificial Intelligence,Blockchain,Marketplaces,Platforms,Enterprise/B2B Software,SaaS for legacy industries.

Stage: Seed, Post-Seed, Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 61

Number of exits: 2

Check size: $200K – $2M

Notable investments: Hologram, FiarMarkIT

Founders/Key People: Nick Moran, Gregory Thompson

Website: https://www.newstack.com/

OCA Ventures

OCA Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Chicago, Illinois. They focus on equity investments in companies with significant growth potential, primarily in the technology and highly-scalable services sectors. Established in 1999, OCA Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm that concentrates on equity investments in companies with considerable growth potential, especially those in technology and highly-scalable services businesses.

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: US & Canada-based companies

Operating since: 1999

Investment Focus: FinTech, EdTech (Post-Secondary), Enterprise Software, Computing Infrastructure, RetailTech, MarTech, Cyber Security, HealthTech, Digital Media, CRM, Real Estate Tech, Data Storage, Data Analytics, Sports, Gaming, Marketplaces

Stages: Seed, Series A, and select Series B stage

Number of investments: 167

Number of exits: 27

Check size: $1m – $3m

Notable investments: Placer, Genvid Technologies, LogicGate, The Mom Project, Osso VR, PowerCell Sweden 

Founders/Key People: Jim Dugan, Bob Saunders, Nick Schowe, Kelvin McQuillan

Website: https://www.ocaventures.com/

Promus Ventures 

Promus Ventures, founded in 2012 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage investments. They primarily focus on deep technology companies. The firm’s key people include Mike Collett, the Founder and Managing Partner, along with partners Gareth Keane and Pierre Festal. As of March 2020, Promus Ventures managed assets worth approximately $983.1 million and had around 30 clients. Their significant investment portfolio consisted of about 40 units as of September 2020. The firm has additional offices in San Francisco, CA, and Luxembourg.

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: USA

Operating since: 2012

Investment Focus: DeepTech Software/Hardware, Robotics, HealthTech, MedTech, FinTech, Digital Media, Tools & Analytics, Connected Web

Stages: Seed, Series A

Number of investments: 147

Number of exits: 46

Check size: $500k – $5m

Notable investments: Rocket Lab, Whoop, MapBox, Cape Analytics, Angel List (now Wellfound)

Founders/Key People: Mike Collett, Gareth Keane

Website: http://www.promusventures.com/

Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Pritzker Group Venture Capital (PGVC) is a venture capital investment firm that primarily focuses on aiding entrepreneurs in the technology sector. Founded in 1996, it specializes in early-stage investments, particularly in seed, series A, and subsequent funding rounds. This firm has been instrumental in building over 150 companies, emphasizing partnerships based on trust and integrity. PGVC operates as an evergreen fund, allowing for a long-term investment approach without the pressure of artificial exit timeframes. They are known for their flexibility, offering initial investments ranging from $500K to $5M. The firm’s team is recognized for their deep industry knowledge and experience, with over 20 years in the venture business, managing billions in assets and fostering strong connections with Fortune 1000 companies and beyond.

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: USA

Operating since: 1996

Investment Focus: Consumer Internet, Digital Health/HealthTech, Digital Media, Mobility, E-commerce, Enterprise/B2B,SaaS/Software, Data Science/AI, Marketplaces, Emerging Technologies

Stages: Series A, Series B

Number of investments: 283

Number of exits: 132

Check size: $500k – $5m

Notable investments: Dollar Shave Club, Bird, MapBox, FleetMatics, Augury

Founders/Key People: Chris Girgenti, Adam Koopersmith

Website: http://www.pritzkergroup.com/venture-capital

Sandalphon Capital 

Sandalphon Capital is a micro venture capital firm based in Chicago, Illinois, primarily engaged in early-stage investments, from Seed to Series A, in the Midwest, South, and other selected markets. Established with a focus on nurturing startups, akin to its namesake Sandalphon—the tallest angel known as the protector of newborns—the firm embodies the role of ensuring that startups’ aspirations are realized. It actively leads, co-leads, or significantly participates in Pre-Seed and Seed stage rounds across a variety of sectors. These sectors include B2B/Enterprise SaaS, FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech, PropTech / Real Estate Tech, Tech-Enabled Healthcare Services or Healthcare IT, Consumer Tech, FoodTech, EdTech, GovTech, and IoT / Hardware with Recurring Revenue. 

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: USA, particularly in the Midwest

Operating since: 2016

Investment Focus: B2B/Enterprise SaaS/Software, FinTech, InsurTech, RegTech, Real Estate Tech/PropTech, Tech-Enabled Health Care Services/Healthcare IT, Consumer Tech, CPG, FoodTech, EdTech, IoT/Hardware

Stages: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A

Number of investments: 60

Number of exits: 10

Check size: $100k – $2m

Notable investments: Provi, LogicGate, HappyCo

Founders/Key People: Jonathan Ellis, Julia Ruge

Website: http://www.sandalphoncapital.com/

Second Century Ventures (CVC)

Second Century Ventures (SCV) is a venture capital firm backed by the National Association of REALTORS®. Founded in 2009 and based in Chicago, Illinois, SCV focuses on early to mid-stage investments in technology companies that have the potential to innovate and transform the real estate industry. Their investment portfolio includes a broad range of sectors such as real estate technology, software as a service (SaaS), big data applications, digital media, fintech, and business services, highlighting a preference for companies that can span multiple verticals and geographies. SCV distinguishes itself by offering more than just capital. It provides startups with unparalleled market expertise, strategic partnerships, and access to a global community of entrepreneurs and practitioners. 

Headquarters: USA (Chicago, Illinois)

Investment Geography: Global approach 

Operating since: 2009

Investment Focus: Enterprise Software (Real Estate, Financial Services, Banking, Home Services, Insurance, Big Data, FinTech, Digital Media, Business Services)

Stages: Seed, Series A, Series B

Number of investments: 212

Number of exits: 54

Check size: $100k – $5m

Notable investments: DocuSign, Kin Insurance, Place

Founders/Key People: Dave Garland, Tyler Thompson

Website: http://scv.vc/

TechNexus

TechNexus Venture Collaborative, based in Chicago, is a pioneering Venture Collaborative that accelerates growth by fostering relationships between leading corporations and ambitious entrepreneurs. It operates by investing capital, incubating startups, and collaborating to create new business models, revenue streams, and products. With a decade-long history, TechNexus has facilitated hundreds of positive outcomes across various industries.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Kenya, Ukraine, Japan, Federated States of Micronesia, Austria.

Operating since: 2007

Investment Focus: Audio, Automotive, Autonomy, Aviation, Consumer, Computer Vision, Electrification, Enterprise SaaS/Software, Health/Wellness/Fitness, Industrial Automation, Marine, Media & Entertainment, Public Safety, Telecom, TravelTech.

Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 257

Number of exits: 16

Check size: $250K – $5M

Notable investments: Ocient, Hologram

Founders/Key People: Fred Hoch

Website: https://technexus.com/

Tensility Venture Partners

Tensility Ventures, also known as Tensility Venture Partners, is a venture capital firm founded in 2016, based in Chicago, Illinois. The firm is dedicated to investing in seed-stage, early-stage, later-stage, and growth-stage companies. Tensility Ventures has a particular focus on enterprises operating in sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI), digital health, cybersecurity, fintech, industrials, and technology.

Headquarters: United States

Investment Geography: United States, Canada, Israel.

Operating since: 2016

Investment Focus: Enterprise AI Software (Cyber Security, Digital Health, Vertical Apps).

Stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A, Series B.

Number of investments: 26

Number of exits: 4

Check size: $100K – $1M

Notable investments: Base, Datavant

Founders/Key People: Armando Pauker

Website: https://www.tensilityvc.com/

Conclusion

Choosing the right VC firm is a pivotal step for your business’s future. In Chicago, you have access to a range of top-tier venture capitalists known for their expertise and supportive environments. We hope this guide helps you navigate your options and pick a partner that aligns with your vision and needs.

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