Moderne Ventures Announces Its New Class of Seven Passport Companies

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Moderne Ventures, a venture investment fund, hosted its third annual Moderne Portfolio Company & Industry Summit last week hosting over 120 leaders in real estate, insurance and finance.  The leaders came together with Moderne’s 40+ portfolio companies in working sessions to foster partnership, innovation and growth.  At the Summit, Moderne announced seven companies selected for its 2018 Midyear Passport Program.

These seven companies were selected from over 4,500 companies Moderne reviewed this year. Passport Program participants have demonstrated unique, defensible solutions that are augmenting and challenging real estate, finance, insurance and home services industries – multi-trillion dollar industries ripe for innovation and change.

Companies selected into the Passport program will embark on an intensive 7-month industry immersion program where they receive strategic consulting to support the growth of their business, participate in over 100 one-on-one mentor meetings with senior executive leaders who are a part of the Moderne Network, capture pilot opportunities with leading corporations and garner exposure at major industry conferences.

Constance Freedman, Moderne Ventures Founder and Managing Partner, who has recently been named one of the most influential women by HousingWire shares, “These companies are addressing some of the core challenges facing our industries on a global scale.  They are positioned to make a dramatic impact.  Moderne was created to accelerate that growth by helping our companies, and our industry partners, create mutually beneficial relationships, share market feedback, rapidly iterate, and scale.”

The Moderne Passport 2018 Midyear Class has collectively raised almost $80M in funding prior to joining the class and collective valuations north of $200M.  The new companies are:

  • Dwelo (www.dwelo.com– Salt Lake City: Simple, seamless smart building technology platform
  • Geo CV (www. geocv.com– New York: Truly automated 3D computer vision technolog
  • Havenly (www.havenly.com– Denver: Online interior design that’s fun, convenient and affordable
  • PERQ (www.perq.com) – IndianapolisIncrease online conversions with guided buying journeys powered by artificial intelligence
  • Shyft (www.shyftmoving.com) – San Francisco: A technology and logistics company transforming the moving and relocation industry
  • Sisu (https://sisu.co/– Salt Lake City: Coaching and accountability sales platform
  • Super (www.hellosuper.com) – San Francisco: Home warranty that makes owning as easy as renting

 

About Moderne Ventures
Moderne Ventures invests in technology companies in and around real estate, finance, insurance. Moderne most often looks outside its industries to find game changing innovation that can be applicable within them.  Moderne operates both a Venture Fund and the Moderne Passport, an Industry Immersion Program designed to foster innovation, partnership and growth between industry partners and new emerging technology companies.  Moderne works with over 700 executives and corporations within its core industries and evaluates over 4,500 emerging tech companies each year.  Its principals have invested in over 60 companies including DocuSign, Updater, August, Better, Hello Alfred, TaskEasy, Homesnap and Leaselock. 

A San Francisco firm's IPO pays off for Chicago investors

As seen in Crains "A San Francisco firm's IPO pays off for Chicago investors"

Last week's IPO of San Francisco-based DocuSign created a big splash that rippled all the way back to Chicago.

One of the big winners in the $629 million deal was Second Century Ventures, a strategic venture fund run by the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors, which was the fourth-largest shareholder. It sold 1.6 million shares for $46.4 million at the $29 IPO price on April 26. Its remaining stake of about 4 million shares is worth about $165 million.

How did association get in so early? It did a small investment and an exclusive partnership with DocuSign to offer its software for digital signatures to member Realtors, according to securities filings. It's quite a home run for Constance Freedman, founder of Chicago venture fund Moderne Ventures. It was her first deal when she was running Second Century Ventures.

But she's not the only local winner in this deal. DocuSign acquired Cartavi, a Naperville-based software startup, five years ago. Investors Chicago Ventures and OCA Ventures each ended up with DocuSign stock that I'm told is worth several million dollars, producing returns in the range of 15 times their investments. Chicago Ventures and OCA declined to comment. Other investors included Pritzker Group Venture Capital, FireStarter Fund and Fieldglass founder Jai Shekhawat.

The deal also paid off for Glenn Shimkus, Cartavi co-founder and former CEO who recently joined legal software firm Relativity as head of product and user experience. "It's been a wonderful exit, not quite a Facebook-type explosion but an incredibly solid return," said Shimkus, who says he will be gathering with investors for a celebration in the coming weeks.

The deal paid off in other ways, too. DocuSign still has a growing office in the western suburbs with about 75 people.