The steps behind Chicago's tech boomContinue reading.
Hyde Park Venture Partners raises $25M for tech investments
Early-stage technology VC firm Hyde Park Venture Partners is closing the fund after surpassing its fundraising goal, and is counting on the Chicago heavyweights who started Redbox and OkCupid to help choose entrepreneurs in whom to invest seed and Series A money.
Hyde Park Venture Partners, which works closely with the unaffiliated Hyde Park Angels on investments, raised $25 million — or $5 million more than its target — in the past year and a half, and aims to invest in tech-enabled consumer and health care businesses.
Of the total, the fund has invested $2.7 million in eight prospects, and expects to invest in two to three seed deals and two to three Series A deals each year for the next four years, says Guy Turner, managing director of Hyde Park Venture Partners. That would total roughly two dozen deals.
The fund has supported Chicago-based parking-lot discount finder ParkWhiz, restaurant and food-manufacturer analytics firm Food Genius, and market-research and 3-D store simulator firm InContext Solutions.
The fund most recently partnered with Hyde Park Angels in leading a $750,000 Series A investment in Chicago-based SimpleRelevance, which helps marketers and other companies target their emails and Web communications to consumers.
Along with Hyde Park Venture Partners principals Turner and Ira Weiss, the fund will count on the stepped-up involvement of advisers Gregg Kaplan, creator of movie rental firm Redbox who has since left the company; investor and TechStars director Steve Farsht; and Sam Yagan, co-founder of online dating site OkCupid who sold the site two years ago for $50 million, to scope out rising stars worthy of investments. The fund also will continue working with Hyde Park Angels, whose managing director, Karin D. O’Connor, called the partnership “a powerful one” that helps promising companies succeed.
Though Turner said the fund will “continue to nurture the innovation that is constantly emerging throughout the Midwest,” there’s a possibility the fund’s activity could lead to a second fund.
“By partnering with great entrepreneurs, we hope to deliver returns for our investors such that we have their support to raise another fund down the road,” he says.