Indianapolis VC firm Ivy Ventures launches with $20M fund
Indianapolis-based Ivy Ventures, a venture capital firm that targets early-stage hardtech, enterprise software and life sciences startups, officially launched this week with a $20 million investment fund.
Local entrepreneur and general partner Scott Kraege co-founded Ivy Ventures with Mike Reynolds, CEO of Indianapolis-based design and research firm Innovatemap, and John Wortman, CEO and co-founder of Carmel-based Valeo Financial Advisors LLC.
Ivy Ventures raised its $20 million fund from investors throughout the Midwest, Kraege said.
Innovatemap and Valeo are also corporate partners in Ivy Ventures, which means Ivy’s portfolio companies will receive both funding and access to support in those companies’ areas of expertise. Innovatemap helps companies with market research, product design and branding, and Valeo is a financial advisory firm.
“…If [portfolio companies] need any product assistance toward finding product/market fit, Innovatemap is an incredible resource,” Kraege said. “If [portfolio companies] ever need any help making financially sound decisions, or anything financially, Valeo can be an incredible resource.”
In a written statement, Wortman said Valeo will also be looking to Ivy Ventures as a source of vetted investment opportunities for those Valeo clients with an interest in venture investing.
The combination of funding and operator expertise is one of Ivy Ventures’ distinguishing characteristics, Reynolds said.
“It’s not just issuing checks,” Reynolds said. “Should [startups] choose Ivy Ventures, and Ivy Ventures chooses them, they’re going to be surrounded by a bunch of operator advice and service provider expertise that’s going to help them be successful.”
Prior to Ivy Ventures, Kraege was the cofounder and CEO of Zionsville-based Mobi Wireless Management LLC, a software firm founded in 2009 that was acquired by New Jersey-based Tangoe Inc. in late 2018. Mobi had about 315 employees at the time of its acquisition.
After exiting Mobi, Kraege spent two years with the startup accelerator Techstars. He also serves as an operating partner at Indianapolis venture studio High Alpha, although High Alpha is not involved with Ivy Ventures.
Ivy Ventures has already invested in its first three portfolio companies, one of which is based in the Indianapolis area. Fishers-based Mobile ReCell Inc. helps companies track and recover smartphones, laptops and other information technology assets.
The other two investments are in New York City-based e-learning platform Learnexus, and Native AI, a marketing tech firm with offices in New York City and Cincinnati.
Kraege declined to say how many portfolio companies Ivy Ventures plans to invest in with its first fund, but said the firm expects to be actively investing out of the fund for the next 18 months.