If you’re seeking a way to sneak into a robust and diverse ecosystem of venture capital in Chicago, you’re in the right place. Taking the fifth seat in VC funding across US cities, Chicago stands out as a hub for fintech, commerce, and various other areas. 

  • With more than $6B in VC funds poured in 2023 alone, Chicago is buzzing with investment opportunities for startups. 

To illustrate, Invenergy secured over $1B in funding, Fly.io raised $95M through two rounds in total, and NanoGraf Corporation attracted more than $65M in the Series B round

  • Like New York, Chicago boasts an impressive corporate landscape, home to many Fortune 500 companies that can offer mentorship, partnership, and networking to founders. 

Given the current tailwind, the chances to break into this thriving VC arena are really high. And we’ve got the roadmap to help you begin. Explore our carefully selected list of the top 13 venture capital firms in Chicago with all the essential details like funding stages, investment focus and count, and contact information for you to find a perfect investor match and fundraise successfully. 

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1. Stella Capital

➡️ Stella Capital is a newborn venture capitalist in Chicago. Founded in 2022, it has already supported 19 companies, boasting a lucrative exit in its portfolio. They invest in businesses with strong, growing moats across various industries and geographies, targeting those with a clear path from startup to a market leader. 

Industries: Agnostic

Funding stage: Early stage, Late stage

Number of investments: 19

Number of exits: 1

Notable portfolio companies: Discord, SpaceX

Contacts: Pitch-us page, LinkedIn

2. CIVC Partners

➡️ CIVC Partners is one of the leading private equity firms in Chicago with a rich history (over 50 years of market presence) and a defined focus—top-notch middle-market ventures in the field of business services. With six funds and over $2B equity capital invested, they have supported almost 100 ventures, a whopping 58 of which exited successfully.  

Industries: Utility & Infrastructure, Commercial Facility, Insurance, IT, Transportation & Logistics, Outsourcing, Software, Digital Marketing, Compliance & Risk Management, Industry & Environment, Fintech

Funding stage: Growth Stage

Average number of rounds per year: 4

Number of investments: 98

Number of exits: 58

Notable portfolio companies: Allata, iVision, LendCare

Contacts: Contact page, LinkedIn

3. New Stack Ventures

➡️ New Stack empowers early-stage companies with high potential, yet those that don’t come from traditional venture hubs like Silicon Valley. They target mission-driven founders who are making significant waves in tech-focused areas. 

Industries: B2B SaaS, FinTech, e-Commerce, Supply Chain, Cyber, PropTech, HealthTech

Funding stage: Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed

Average check size: $500K – $1.5M

Average number of rounds per year: 9

Number of investments: 61

Number of exits: 2

Notable portfolio companies: Cybrary, Tovala, Flamingo

Contacts: Pitch-us page, LinkedIn

4. ARCH Venture Partners

➡️ ARCH, a top venture capital firm in Chicago, invests in breakthroughs aimed at preventing, detecting, and curing diseases. With a long-term view on building companies as their North Star and a network of partners, this bold and risk-taking VC fund supports innovative companies that can change people’s lives. 

Industries: Biotechnology, Healthcare

Funding stage: Seed, Series A+

Average check size: $30M – $100M

Average number of rounds per year: 30

Number of investments: 468

Number of exits: 103

Notable portfolio companies: Illumina, Codiak, Grail

Contacts: Contact page, LinkedIn

5. Jump Capital

➡️ Jump Capital is a Chicago-based VC firm that pours money into tech-enabled companies. Due to their focus on the Midwest and Chicago, they have become one of the most active investors in the region. With a full grasp of how to fuel business growth, the fund provides both operational and financial support. 

Industries: Enterprise Technology, Marketing, Healthcare IT, Financial Services, and Blockchain/Crypto

Funding stage: Series A, Series B

Value-added beyond money: 

  • Office space;
  • Access to their network of entrepreneurs.

Average check size: $2M – 10M

Average number of rounds per year: 9

Number of investments: 153

Number of exits: 32

Notable portfolio companies: Solana, Injective, NEAR Protocol

Contacts: Contact page, LinkedIn

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6. Origin Ventures

➡️ Origin Ventures has stood as a beacon of VC funding for early-stage companies spanning software and marketplace verticals across North America for over two decades. The fund believes in the digital native economy, directing most of its investments to millennial- and Gen Z-led businesses. Important to mention that the team consists of former operators and engineers who approach every interaction with the firm’s values in mind.

Industries: Software, Consumer, Marketplace

Funding stage: Seed, Seed+, Series A

Average check size: $2M – $10M

Average number of rounds per year: 12

Number of investments: 110

Number of exits: 19

Notable portfolio companies: Grubhub, Apptentive, Pronto

Contacts: LinkedIn

7. Sandbox Industries

➡️ Sandbox Industries, an investment firm in Chicago, backs companies that can drive lasting change in the healthcare, insurance, and sustainability sectors. By networking with the companies into which they pour money, they can provide extra resources to startups. Plus, they are partners with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, helping healthcare ventures thrive.

Industries: Healthcare, Insurance, Food & Agriculture

Funding stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity, Seed

Value-added beyond money: 

Sandbox connects startups and corporations using three methods: venture funds, accelerators, and consulting services.

Average check size: $2M – $10M

Average number of rounds per year: 7

Number of investments: 89

Number of exits: 23

Notable portfolio companies: Descartes Lab, Geltor, Agrivida

Contacts: Contact page, LinkedIn

8. Lightbank

➡️ Lightbank is a disruptive tech investor, making waves in the spheres of healthtech and consumer. With its two sub-funds, Lightbeat, which focuses on healthcare and biotech, and Lightblock, a research and analytics blockchain fund, the company pushes the boundaries of technology investing. It targets solutions that promise a significant impact on society.

Industries: Consumer, Healthtech

Funding stage: Seed, Early Stage, Late Stage 

Average check size: $2M – $10M

Average number of rounds per year: 12

Number of investments: 190

Number of exits: 42

Notable portfolio companies: Clearcover, Udemy, Sproutsocial

Contacts: LinkedIn

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9. Adams Street Partners

➡️ Adams Street Partners stands out as one of the most seasoned and respected PE firms in Chicago. With offices in North America, Australis, Europe, and Asia, $58B in assets, over 50 years of experience and expertise, and more than 300 companies backed, this veteran player consistently raises the bar in global private equity. 

Industries: Software, Mobile, Healthcare, Security, Fintech

Funding stage: Seed, Early Stage, Late Stage 

Average check size: $3M – 150M

Average number of rounds per year: 10

Number of investments: 300+

Number of exits: 120+

Notable portfolio companies: Alation, BioAgilytix, CareCloud

Contacts: Contacts, LinkedIn

10. OCA Ventures

➡️ OCA Ventures excels in nurturing early-stage startups, cementing its reputation as one of the leading venture capital Chicago powerhouses. Startups with dramatic growth potential, US or Canada-based ventures only—these are the main criteria when choosing their rising stars. Plus, the company provides resources beyond money, such as a strong network and valuable market insights.  

Industries: Enterprise Software, Consumer Software, Fintech, Digital Health

Funding stage: Seed, Series A, Series B

Average check size: $1M – 3M

Average number of rounds per year: 10

Number of investments: 167

Number of exits: 31

Notable portfolio companies: Actuate, Genvid, Hubly

Contacts: Pitch-us page, LinkedIn

11. Hyde Park Venture Partners

➡️ Hyde Park Venture Partners spans locations they know the best, the Midwest (plus Atlanta and Toronto). The fund seeks high-growth tech ventures with a strong, top-notch founding team. Boasting a portfolio of over 169 disruptive companies with 40 successful exits, they expertly accelerate startups from their nascent pre-seed stages right through to early Series A rounds. 

Industries: SaaS, Marketplace, Software 

Funding stage: Pre-Seed, Seed, Series A

Average number of rounds per year: 10

Number of investments: 169

Number of exits: 40

Notable portfolio companies: 2ndKitchen, ShipBob, Fixer

Contacts: LinkedIn

12. First Analysis Venture Capital

➡️ First Analysis, a standout Chicago VC firm, has infused over $825M into high-growth ventures throughout 40 years. Their unique research-driven approach and deep expertise in targeted sectors have enabled them to nurture industry leaders, benefiting both investors and the broader society and environment. 

Industries: Tech/SaaS, Healthcare, Environmental Technology

Funding stage: Early Stage, Late Stage 

Value-added beyond money: They provide strategic guidance to their portfolio companies

Average check size: $3M – 10M

Average number of rounds per year: 5

Number of investments: 92

Number of exits: 34

Notable portfolio companies: Smartcommerce, Visage, Vida

Contacts: Contacts (at the end of the page), LinkedIn

13. Chicago Ventures

➡️ Chicago Ventures rolls up its sleeves to champion early-stage ventures within under-radar industries, ensuring founders have not only a steadfast ally in their boardroom but also a straight-shooting advocate at their side.  

Funding stage: Early Stage 

Average check size: $1M – 2M

Average number of rounds per year: 10

Number of investments: 164

Number of exits: 30

Notable portfolio companies: Copilot, Nocd, Hint

Contacts: LinkedIn

Wrapping up

Chicago shines bright on investors’ radars, and its future looks bright and promising. With a diverse suite of industries represented, from biotech and healthcare to fintech and commerce, Chicago serves as a fertile ground for entrepreneurs seeking funding and mentorship.

Ready to embark on your investor hunt? Let our expert investor targeting & outreach and pitch deck design services be your strategic armor. We’re here to help you find the most suitable Chicago VC firm, create a compelling investment story, and raise your next funding round seamlessly.

Related read: Top 30 VC Firms in US in 2024

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Hello! I'm Ruslana, a Content Writer at Waveup. Based on my background in marketing research and business analytics, and my current collaboration with the savvy team at Waveup, I'm excited to share my insights and learnings with you.