Chicago-based venture firm Lightbank is opening an office in New York, part of a plan to expand the number of investments in companies on the East Coast. Lightbank principal Vicki Levine will head up activities at the firm’s New York office.
Lightbank, a venture capital firm founded by entrepreneurs Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, today announced the opening of its second location in the Flatiron District of New York. Lightbank’s New York presence will enable the firm to better serve and grow its portfolio in New York and the East Coast, where it will join a community full of promising tech startups.
“New York is an active and diverse tech hub that has produced many remarkable companies, and we look forward to collaborating with great entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses,” said Brad Keywell, co-founder of Lightbank. “The New York tech community has deep roots in spaces like ecommerce and media that align with our expertise. By being on the ground, we strengthen our ability to help emerging tech startups develop and scale their businesses.”
Lightbank plans to grow the number of investments into companies based in New York and the East Coast region in the coming years, reflective of the increasing amount of venture capital flowing into the region’s startups. The firm will continue to focus on early-stage tech companies, with areas of particular interest including ecommerce, media and health.
Since 2010, Lightbank has invested in more than 50 early-stage tech startups across the country, with nearly 20 percent of its portfolio located on the East Coast, including Frank & Oak, Contently, Centzy, Bevel, Ovuline and OnSwipe. Additionally, Lightbank’s Keywell and Lefkofsky have co-founded New York-based MediaOcean and InnerWorkings, both of which have a strong presence in New York.
Lightbank principal Vicki Levine will head up activities at the firm’s New York office, with active participation from the firm’s partners.
“The New York technology community surrounds its entrepreneurs with resources beyond just capital,” said Keywell. “There is the government’s support, collaboration from large organizations, many world-class conferences and events, hackathons, as well as an increasing number of co-working spaces and accelerators, which all work together to create an ecosystem that we are excited to join.”
Lightbank is a Chicago-based fund focused on early-stage technology companies. Founded by Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, who are founders of Groupon, MediaBank, InnerWorkings (NASDAQ:INWK) and Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ:ECHO), Lightbank not only makes investments of capital, but also takes an active hands-on role in helping entrepreneurs ensure their early- and mid-stage businesses grow and succeed.