The Chicago venture capital industry has attracted more than $1 billion in funding for approximately 150 companies in the last decade. In 2011, venture capital firms invested $5.5 billion into 1,373 new companies and follow-on investments. The Chicago area is one of the most active locations for early-stage venture capital investment in the country.
This article is part of a series where we present you the best Venture Capital firms across different cities and countries. Here you can view the rankings for Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York.
Top 10 VC Investors in Chicago
1. ARCH Venture Partners
ARCH invests primarily in companies co-founded by scientists and entrepreneurs, concentrating on bringing to market innovations in life sciences. They enjoy special recognition as a leader in the successful commercialization of technologies developed at academic research institutions and national laboratories.
ARCH has raised ten venture fundstotaling over $3 billion and has invested in the earliest venture capital rounds for more than 150 companies. ARCH investors include major corporations, pension funds, endowment funds, financial institutions, and private investors.
Total fund size: $7.7B
Most notable exits include Scholar Rock, Bluebird Bio, and Twist Bioscience.
2. Pritzker Group Venture Capital
Pritzker Group Venture Capital helps entrepreneurs build market-leading technology companies at every stage of their growth. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has worked side-by-side with entrepreneurs at more than 100 companies, building partnerships based on trust and integrity. Its proprietary capital structure allows for tremendousflexibility, and our experienced team of investment professionals and entrepreneurs offers companies a vast network of strategic relationships and guidance.
Successful exits in recent years include Fleetmatics (NYSE: FLTX), SinglePlatform (acquired by Constant Contact), Zinch (acquired by Chegg), Playdom (acquired by Disney), LeftHand Networks (acquired by Hewlett-Packard), and TicketsNow (acquired by Ticketmaster).
Most notable exits include Casper, Cue, and Dollar Shave Club.
3. Jump Capital
Jump Capital is an early-stage venture firm that provides capital and strategic resources for companies within the fintech, IT/Data infrastructure, crypto, future of commerce/media, and B2B SaaS sectors. Strong attraction to companies focused on prescriptive/deep data, passionate and tenacious management teams, and founders with anexecution-focused mindset. Jump's philosophy is to align with talented management teams that desire a trusted partner with real-world operating experience and a firm with an operating platform targeting initial investment checks between $2M to $10M.
Total fund size: $650M
Most notable exits include Nudge, Doctor On Demand, and Flashpoint.
4. Second Century Ventures
Second Century Ventures brings a highly collaborative approach to venture capital. In addition to capital investments, we provide unparalleled market expertise through strategic partnerships, our diversely skilled team, and access to a rapidly growing global community of entrepreneurs and practitioners. We fuel innovation through investment, people and technology.
We are backed by the National Association of REALTORS® – a 1.4M member strong trade association with 100 bilateral partnerships across 85 countries.
Most notable exits include DocuSign, Updater, and Trust Stamp.
Lightbank VC is a $380M AUM venture fund that invests in early-stage consumer, enterprise, healthcare, crypto, fintech and climate companies. It focuses on pre-seed, seed and Series A opportunities where they write initial checks between $250k - $5m. They have invested in over 150 companies such as Tempus, Udemy, Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), Sprout Social(NYSE: SPRT), Boom Supersonic, Tastytrade (acq. $1B+), Clearcover, Extend and Expel.
Total fund size: $360M
Most notable exits include Fiverr, Ovia Health, and Benzinga.
6. Hyde Park Venture Partners
Hyde Park Venture Partners is an early stage venture capital firm focused on high-growth, mid-continent technology startups. We seek companies with an exceptional founding team and fast-growth potential, looking to raise a first or second round of capital. With offices in Chicago and Indianapolis, our team is tenacious, responsive, and committed toadding value to each investment.
Total fund size: $190M
Most notable exits include Base, Dolly, and Flywheel.
7. Valor Equity Partners
Valor Equity Partners is an operational growth investment firm focused on high-growth companies across various stages of development. For decades, it has served its companies with the expertise to solve the challenges of growth and scale. Valor Equity partners with companies and entrepreneurs who are committed to the highest standards of excellenceand the courage to transform their industries.
Total fund size: $6B
Most notable exits include Tesla, Bird, and BitGo.
8. OCA Ventures
OCA Ventures is an early stage (Seed, Series A, and Series B) venture capital firm focused on equity investments in companies with dramatic growth potential, primarily in technology and highly-scalable services businesses. OCA invests in many industries, with a preference for technology, financial services, education and healthcare technology.Founded in 1999, the firm is investing out of its fourth fund in companies spread throughout the United States.
Total fund size: $242M
Most notable exits include Base, Alert Logic, and Trim.
9. Chicago Ventures
Chicago Ventures launched in 2012 to fill an acute market gap. At the time, early-stage capital flowed as if innovation were restricted by geography. Venture dollars were raised and distributed all within a few select area codes.
We believed then, and know today, that enduring companies can be built anywhere, by anyone.
Total fund size: $181M
Most notable exits include Troops, Pluto TV, and Catalytic.
10. S2G Ventures
S2G Ventures is a multi-stage food and agriculture venture fund investing in entrepreneurs whose products and services meet the shifting demands for healthy and sustainable food. The firm's mission is to catalyze innovation to meet consumer demands for healthy, sustainable, and local food. S2G will identify sectors across the food system thatare ripe for change, and form a multi-stage portfolio including seed, venture, and growth-stage investments. It seeks to invest in agriculture, ingredients, infrastructure and logistics, food safety and technology, retail and restaurants, and consumer brands.
S2G Ventures was established in 2014 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
Total fund size: $505M
Most notable exits include Benson Hill, Greenlight Biosciences, and Beyond Meat.