HousingWire recognizes the most influential women in housing
Nova Credit is part of the 2018 Moderne Venture Passport Class and has recently raised $16M in funding from General Catalyst, Index Ventures, Y Combinator and others, receiving backing from former American Express CEO Ken Chenault in the process.
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.
Press release as shared via PE Hub
LeaseLock Secures $10 Million Series A Financing Round Led By Wildcat Venture Partners, Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, and Moderne Ventures
Insurtech product for rental housing seeks to aggressively accelerate enterprise sales, technology integration, and execution of product roadmap
LOS ANGELES, CA – April 30th, 2018 – LeaseLock, a new insurance technology product for the rental housing market, announced it has completed a $10 million Series A round of financing. Wildcat Venture Partners led the investment round with participation from Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures, American Family Ventures and Moderne Ventures. The investment brings LeaseLock’s total funding since launching its revolutionary zero security deposit solution to $12 million and will help the company aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts as well as broaden and accelerate product development.
As the first nationwide A-rated (Excellent) lease insurance program, LeaseLock is using technology to replace security deposits with insurance. Renters pay a low monthly fee starting at $19 that insures the property for up to 6x rent and damages. Renters save thousands of dollars at move-in, while properties convert more leases with better protection. LeaseLock is growing rapidly counting over 1,000,000 apartment homes enrolled across leading multifamily portfolios including Lennar Multifamily Communities (LMC), Avenue5 Residential, United Apartment Group, and Bainbridge.
“LeaseLock is creating a new category by applying technology to improve the way renters and properties transact – making it faster, simpler, and more cost-effective for both parties,” said founder and Chief Executive Offer, Reichen Kuhl. “We intend to use the additional funds to fortify our category leadership position and propel LeaseLock into more communities and leasing systems across the country in an effort to eliminate security deposits everywhere and enable greater access to quality housing for everyone.”
“LeaseLock is in the trenches with multifamily executives carefully crafting a product optimized to the needs of enterprise operations, systems and the markets they serve – we appreciate this strategic advantage,” said Bryan Stolle, Founding Partner of Wildcat Venture Partners. Moderne Ventures participated as a strategic investor, bringing along a network of over 700 influential real estate executives and corporations. “LeaseLock delivers a best in class product to our real estate network with trillions of dollars in AUM and billions of square feet. Leaselock reduces vacancy rates and minimize losses resulting in significant value to our partners and their clients,” said Constance Freedman, Founder and Managing Partner of Moderne Ventures.
One million of the funding round came from Hivers & Strivers, an investment group that focuses on early stage investments to support start-up companies founded and run by graduates of U.S. Military Academies, of which founder and CEO Kuhl is, having served in the U.S. Air Force for nine years.
Our mission is to help the world find “home.” Powered by insurance and technology, we’re reinventing the way renters and properties transact. LeaseLock replaces security deposits with insurance. Renters pay a low monthly fee starting at $19 that insures the property for up to 6x rent and damages. Renters save thousands of dollars at move-in, while properties convert more leases with better protection. LeaseLock is the first nationwide A-rated (Excellent) lease insurance program, protecting over 1,000,000 apartment homes.