Saggezza Acquired, LongJump Launched, and More Chicago Tech News

March 8, 2021
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photo: Saggezza / Facebook

Last week was a busy period for venture capital firms in Chicago as a few of them are raising funding of their own, launching new funds and making other moves. This is the Built In Chicago weekly refresh.

Saggezza to be acquired by InfostretchBased in Chicago, Saggezza provides large and mid-market enterprises with solutions for transforming their business with tools for digital design, enterprise automation and CRM. By becoming a subsidiary of California-based Infostretch, Saggezza will help it to grow and expand its presence in the financial services, insurance and healthcare industries. [Business Wire]

Chicago Ventures launches new $63M fundFor this Chicago firm that leads funding raises for early stage startups, every idea is worth considering. CV specifically backs “overlooked” startups, and, with its new capital, it’s already made headway toward its goal of funding 25 more businesses. So far, the new fund has already backed 11 new startups as the leader of 10 of those rounds. [Built In Chicago]

Chicago Tech Quote of the Week

“Most investors want to back diverse founders and companies with unconventional ideas. But, unfortunately, a lot of those investors are looking at companies that have, kind of, moved past this early, very formative stage. They’re looking for companies that have achieved certain milestones. The baked-in assumption is that these early stage companies are getting money from their own personal wealth, from friends and family, from angel investors.” —Tim Grace, LongJump founding partner and COO of Draftbit

LongJump emerges as a new VC firmEstablished by a team of Chicago entrepreneurs, most of whom are from underrepresented communities, LongJump is extending a helping hand to founders of similar demographics. It is often a startup’s very first investor, backing tech-centric Chicago-based companies in the pre-seed stage with at least one founder from a minority group. [Built In Chicago]

Amazon may establish a new Chicago warehouseThe e-commerce giant is looking to buy the plant for Central Steel & Wire at $45 million. This would provide Amazon with 70 acres of warehouse space on Chicago’s Southwest Side in Gage Park. Though the deal has yet to close, this would represent Amazon’s largest Chicago facility to date. [Chicago Tribune]

Cleveland Avenue launches $70M fundThe firm, led by ex-McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, invests in startups focused on food innovation. It’s currently looking to support Chicago companies owned by Black, Latinx and women entrepreneurs. The fund is called the Cleveland Avenue State Treasurer Urban Success Initiative and it will focus on founders in the South and West Side neighborhoods. [Chicago Business Journal]

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