Chicago-based venture capital firm Moderne Ventures has successfully closed its early stage venture investment fund with $33 million in total commitments. The fund is focused on early stage investments in technology companies innovating in the real estate, finance, insurance and home services markets.
Launched in 2015 by Constance Freedman, Moderne identifies and invests in cutting-edge technology companies who have a shared purpose of modernizing highly-regulated, multi-trillion dollar industries. These markets represent 20% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and spend billions of dollars annually on marketing, technology and business services.
Prior to launching Moderne Ventures, Freedman was the head of Strategic Investments at the National Association of Realtors, where she launched and managed its investment arm, Second Century Ventures (SCV) in 2009 and founded its accelerator program, REach in 2013. Ms. Freedman led all of SCV’s investments, including DocuSign, Updater and August.
Moderne’s unique approach offers its portfolio companies more than just financing and expertise. The firm provides its early stage investments with proprietary access and exposure to the Moderne Network — more than 400 executives and corporate leaders who provide industry expertise, strategic guidance and business opportunities. Moderne’s target investment size ranges from $200,000 to $3 million, primarily in seed to Series B stage companies. Current portfolio companies include TaskEasy, UrbanBound and Better Mortgage.
“Moderne was founded on the principle that capital and expertise are no longer the only ingredients that drive success for early stage companies,” said Freedman. “In order to be truly transformative, we have created the Moderne Network that fosters a symbiotic relationship between entrepreneurs and more established businesses seeking to redefine how they operate by embracing new technologies.”
Moderne also introduced the next iteration of its Accelerator program: Moderne Passport Program (“Passport”), a seven-month industry immersion program designed for technology companies of all stages and sizes. Passport leverages the Moderne Network and connects growth companies with customers and industry leaders.
Freedman added, “Our immersion program attracts the cream of the crop companies on the bleeding edge of SaaS, data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and IoT. These are businesses that can create tremendous value by addressing the needs of global companies in the real estate, finance, insurance and home services markets to evolve and streamline their outdated processes.”
Since inception, Passport has had over 40 companies participate, and on average, companies increase their customer base by approximately 90% and have gone on to raise nearly $200 million in outside financing. Moderne is currently accepting Passport applications for its 2017 spring program, which will launch at Realogy Holdings Corporation’s headquarters in May.