the things we’ve done
we invest money, but we do it our way
It’s really an investment vehicle. we’re just putting a formal name behind what we’ve been doing for years now — predominately investing our own money in companies that we start or behind people who have ideas that we’ve actively helped to realize. It’s not a traditional fund. We’re just doing what we do best, helping kick-ass companies that change industries.
our managing partners have built these companies:
Echo Global Logistics is a leading provider of technology-enabled business process outsourcing, serving the transportation and logistics needs of its clients. Echo's proprietary web-based technology, dedicated service teams and robust procurement power enables its clients to see significant transportation savings while receiving best-in-class service.
Groupon was started to make it easier for people to enjoy the great things in their community. Each day, Groupon features something cool to do at an unbeatable price. It offers these daily deals through the power of collective buying. The deals are localized by city---there's a different Groupon site in different major markets around the country. They do everything they can to offer a "too good to be true" experience from the moment you buy a Groupon to the day you use it.
InnerWorkings is a leading global provider of managed print and promotional solutions. With proprietary technology, an extensive supplier network and domain expertise, InnerWorkings procures, manages and delivers print and promotional products to companies across a wide range of industries. The more than 8,000 suppliers in InnerWorkings' network have been selected among thousands more potential suppliers worldwide – based on their ability to effectively serve InnerWorkings' clients on the criteria of price, service and overall quality. Drawing on the expertise of this certified supplier network makes InnerWorkings' solutions far more effective than traditional methods and enables them to fulfill up to 100% of the print and promotional procurement needs of their clients.
Mediaocean is a leading provider of integrated procurement technology and advanced analytics to the advertising industry. Mediaocean solutions allow for unprecedented cross-media analytics and intelligence through superior planning, buying, workflow and data warehousing tools. Mediaocean delivers advertiser-focused tools that streamline the management of complex multi-media campaigns for global advertisers. The company's suite of product solutions offer a secure forum that allows advertisers to access data on every conceivable form of media available in the market through a scalable procurement platform which provides a holistic view of digital and analog media spend.
12Society is a celebrity-focused commerce platform that leverages pop culture with brand awareness. Their celebrities engage with users to give access into their everyday world that you can't find anywhere else. Combining the power of social media and analytics, 12Society provides a personalized and unique experience.
Ark.com is a search engine for people. With Ark, you can search for new people, old classmates, new business contacts, and even your friends. With over a billion social network profiles indexed, and using a modern architecture, Ark provided the most comprehensive people search engine in the world.
BabbaCo, Inc. is a premier baby products company that creates innovative parenting solutions that are “simple, functional, and super cute.” Founded by a mother of two and serial entrepreneur, Jessica Kim, BabbaCo represents the latest know-how, trends, and innovation. The company has received national and regional notoriety on The TODAY show, ABC, Fox Business News, The Rachael Ray Show, Babble’s Top 50 Mompreneur, and People’s baby blog. BabbaCo’s latest product, the BabbaBox, was created to address the overwhelming demand for new products by existing customers. BabbaBox is a monthly subscription box that combines all the physical materials with the know-how content to really engage kids. It helps parents create, explore, story-tell and teach in an interactive and enriching way.
BeachMint is a social commerce company for designer-curated direct to consumer sites. BeachMint launched their first brand, JewelMint, with Kate Bosworth and celebrity stylist, Cher Coulter, in October 2010, StyleMint with Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in July 2011, BeautyMint with Jessica Simpson and celebrity skincare expert, Nerida Joy, in October 2011, and ShoeMint with Rachel Bilson and celebrity stylist, Nicole Chavez, in collaboration with Steve Madden. Each site offers a subscription shopping model with personalized product recommendations for its members from their respective celebrity and expert.
Beautylish, a social commerce website for the cosmetics industry, was founded in February 2010 with the goal of improving the way that everyone discovers and learns about the beauty products that they use everyday. Users can watch YouTube makeup tutorial videos, discover cosmetic and skin care product reviews, and learn celebrity makeup tips and secrets.
Belly is a universal loyalty program that offers unique and exceptional rewards to local businesses through a single customer loyalty card. Belly replaces traditional "Buy 10, Get 1 Free" punch cards with a rewards platform that is tailored to each business' personality, connecting customers on a much more personalized level to the places they already love.
BenchPrep was launched in January of 2009 to offer study preparations tools for the GMAT and has since expanded to nine titles. BenchPrep apps are now available for subject areas ranging from K-12 to test prep to professional certifications and focus on social learning, data analytics, and cross-device synchronization to make the overall learning experience convenient, engaging and fun. The Company works with best-in-class education publishers including McGraw Hill Professional, Law School Admission Council and American Council on Education. The Company is in the process of building the world's first cross-platform educational apps publishing platform that focuses on the social and analytical aspects of learning. Watermelon’s content-agnostic solution delivers interactive apps on smart phones (iPhone, Android), tablets (iPad, Kindle), desktop (Windows, Mac) and the Web.
Launched in May 2010, Betterfly is a website that matches people who want to learn, look and feel better with the people, not companies, who offer these services. To make it easier to find those tutors, coaches, stylists, trainers, etc., called Betterists, Betterfly is the website of its kind to exclude companies, and focus on people instead. In addition to its search features, the Company provides a robust platform for Betterists to create a highly-customizable profile page, which promotes their qualifications, services, special offers and payment policies, provides real-time availability, offers online appointment booking, and allows them to upload multimedia files, such as instructional videos and lesson plans.
Bevel brings the trunk show online, providing you first access to new collections by independent designers. It's a concept that has existed offline, locally, since commerce first began. Bevel just brings it online, and, in doing so, offers unique products you just can't find other places.
The Clever Sense Platform makes sense of the real world by harvesting and sifting through the vast amount of information available on the Web. The platform is designed to connect the online world with the offline world: delivering the right information to the users in the right context (right time, right place, right intent).
Cloudbot is a mobile and web app that pulls each user's online presence into one simple user interface. Cloudbot helps manage the profiles, contacts and activities users maintain across multiple applications by bringing all of their social activity together into a single hub. Cloudbot eliminates the scattered, segmented data silos that naturally form as apps explode in popularity. In addition, Cloudbot's universal address book and integrated social connections make it easy to call, email, send a Facebook or LinkedIn message, post a tweet, share a document via DropBox or GoogleDocs, schedule a meeting, and more.
Contently is an open marketplace for writers and publishers. Contently provides a platform where real journalists can manage their freelance careers and where brands-turned-publishers can create and manage editorial operations. We like to think of ourselves as the "anti-content-farm."
DoubleDutch is leading the way in the deconstruction of enterprise software. The company has introduced the world’s first mobile CRM application suite for events, sales teams, and other enterprise workgroups. Currently in use by leading companies like Cisco, Lowe’s, Wells Fargo, and others, DoubleDutch's mobile, social software applications help companies manage leads, deals, and ongoing customer relationships. DoubleDutch's continuously expanding portfolio of software solutions includes a white-label app for events and a mobile CRM opportunity management app.
E la Carte deploys Prestos, custom touchscreen tablets, on restaurant tables so guests can order food, play games, and pay. Now you can scroll through mouth-watering pictures of every dish, customize your meal, order another round of drinks, and split the bill easily among friends - all at the touch of a button and without having to wait. With offices in Chicago, Boston, New York, and Silicon Valley, E la Carte is revolutionizing the restaurant experience across the nation. Coming soon to a restaurant table near you!
Eventup is an event marketplace that is changing the way people book their events by allowing people to discover locations within a couple minutes online, saving them weeks at a time. Eventup has the most comprehensive guide of event spaces from banquet halls and non-traditional locations like art galleries and warehouses, to residences like lofts, penthouses, and estates. By using Eventup, venue owners can make money off of their previously under-monetized assets and gives people access to locations and experiences that were previously unattainable.
Chicago-based Fooda is America's premier provider of services to captive audiences. Fooda has a large network of top local businesses and provides its services to groups such as schools, corporations, organizations, and residential communities. Fooda provides its services via on-site locations as well as mobile and web-based technology.
FreeAgent is an online accounting application used by thousands of freelancers and small businesses worldwide. It was voted Best Small Business Accounting Application in the 2010 Software Satisfaction Awards. It lets you send invoices, track time and expenses, analyze bank statements and build real-time accounts, all done simply with no confusing accounting jargon. Customers say it puts them back in control of their business finances, and even makes doing the books fun. No, really!
GetGoing is revolutionizing the way people search and book travel, while helping travel providers decrease their unsold inventory. GetGoing offers consumers a new way to shop for their next getaway by combining patented technology and deep discounts from the world's top airlines.
Lightswitch is a web video production company that specializes in the creation of affordable content for small and medium-sized businesses. Lightswitch is the easiest way for a business to improve its online marketing through video; its objective is to increase customer engagement, web traffic and conversion rates without breaking the budget. The production professionals at Lightswitch will shoot, edit and deliver a low-cost, state-of-the-art, High Definition video that innovatively showcases your business and captivates your online audience.
Needle, Inc. is a sales chat platform for web, social, and mobile commerce powered by crowd-sourced product experts and brand advocates. Needle manages a cloud-based sales force of part-time individuals who are passionate about the products they support. Through live chat with brand experts, Needle gives companies an opportunity to give their online customers an an in-store shopping experience.
oBaz, short for "online bazaar", launched in 2011 and is a curated social commerce site that helps people discover products, brands, and designers that fit their style. Through a highly interactive user experience, oBaz offers personalized recommendations and discounts on products based on each user's individual taste graph.view website
Qwiki co-founded by entrepreneur Doug Imbruce and Internet industry pioneer Dr. Louis Monier (founder of AltaVista). The company’s technology transforms data into interactive, rich media narratives, delivering an "information experience.” Qwiki debuted in September 2010 at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference, where it won the TechCrunch Disrupt Cup.
SocialKaty Inc. (SK) is a full service social media marketing agency. SK specializes in development of strategy as well as daily execution of social media marketing for brands. SK combines social branding with content, advertising, Facebook applications, and organic SEO to enhance findability. We are able to turn online communities into lasting customer relationships through creation and distribution of social media content.view website
SoCore Energy is the market leader in solar portfolio development and commercial rooftop installations. Focused exclusively on the solar energy needs of multisite retailers, REITs and industrial clients, SoCore combines engineering excellence and financial innovation to reduce the operational and bottom-line expense of solar energy implementation, cut energy costs and hedge against utility-rate increases.
SpotHero is a platform that allows parking lots and garages to drive extra customers to their existing locations. SpotHero offers a service that connects these lots and garages with consumers through both online and mobile applications. The SpotHero platform makes it easy to purchase parking ahead of time and reserve a parking spot for a day event, or even find monthly parking.
Sprout Social allows businesses to efficiently and effectively manage & grow their social presence across multiple channels and turn social connections into loyal customers. The web application integrates with Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages, LinkedIn, and other networks where consumers are engaging with businesses and brands. In addition to communication tools, Sprout Social offers contact management, competitive insight, lead generation, reporting, analytics and more – all in a package that's intuitive and easy to use.
SunnyBump helps new and expecting parents discover the wide world of baby products together. With the help of battle tested parents who've been there and the industry experts who know, SunnyBump has created an online resource to view products and reviews on everything from bags to buggies.
Tagkast amplifies social events through its patented tablet technology. As photographs are taken at live events, they are then streamed onto hand-held tablets. Patrons are allowed to login to their Facebook accounts and tag themselves. This creates a social branding opportunity along with sophisticated analytics of consumer information.
Udemy is a website that empowers anyone to teach and learn online. On Udemy, there are thousands of online courses from the best instructors in the world. Furthermore, if you're an expert you can share your knowledge by creating an online course on Udemy. Udemy's platform makes it easy for experts to build an online course. Instructors can use video, PowerPoint, PDFs, audio, zip files and live classes to quickly build a course and share their expertise with anyone in the world.
Walk.by is retail ecommerce and mobile commerce made as easy as snap, share, sell, ship. The mobile software allows retailers to snap a picture of something they want to sell, share it with their social networks and the walk.by network, sell it instantly and have it shipped. Walk.by creates revenue for local retailers in the space between the in-store and online commerce.
WhosHere is the world’s only mobile meet-up application with “total freedom,” a cost-free, worry-free, label-free approach to location-based dating and networking. It’s fast to join, easy to use, and free to send texts, pictures, or VOIP calls without disclosing your phone number or email address. Founded in 2008, WhosHere has over 4 million users.