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TypeFinancial organization/venture fund
Key people

Lightbank is a financial organization that specializes in making venture capital investments in "disruptive" technology companies in the United States including seed investments, Series A round and late-stage investments.[1][2][3][4][5] It combines investment with guidance and direct involvement with the companies it invests in. Unlike most such companies, it does not concentrate on Silicon Valley, but has a presence across the United States. It was founded by Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky. It is headquartered in Chicago and it has made investments in companies in Chicago, New York City, Omaha and the Bay Area.[2]


Lightbank has invested in a number of companies,[6] including the deal-of-the-day website Groupon. Lightbank's Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell were two of the original co-founders, along with Andrew Mason of Groupon.[7]

Other Lightbank investments include Sprout Social, Snapsheet, Belly,[8] Boom Technology,[9] Fiverr,[10] Fooda, SpotHero,[11] Tempus, Udemy,[12] test preparation service BenchPrep, Qwiki, and HighGround.[6]


Lefkofsky was a co-founder of Lightbank, though he became 'Special Advisor' in 2014-2015 during his tenure as CEO of Groupon. He then returned to Lightbank as managing partner in November 2015 after stepping down as CEO of Groupon.[13]

Paul Lee, a general partner at Lightbank, left the venture fund in November 2014 to start Roniin, a venture capital firm which has a mentor model where veteran entrepreneurs mentor fresh ones and Roniin provides capital to increase chances of startup success.[14] He subsequently re-branded Roniin to Builders Studios and launched BuildersVC.[15]

Victor Pascucci III was announced as managing partner of Lightbank in February 2017. This move allowed Lefkofsky and Keywell to step back and focus on their growing start-up companies. Pascucci was most recently a partner at Munich Re, a German reinsurance company.[16]

See also[edit]

  • Venture builders


  1. ^ Rogers, Bruce (2012-10-24). "How Chicago-Based Lightbank Is Fixing A Broken VC Model". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  2. ^ a b Rao, Leena (2012-12-23). "Lightbank Aims To Change The VC Game As It Expands Its Investments Beyond Chicago". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  3. ^ Baverman, Laura (2012-12-20). "Lightbank and Kleiner Perkins create Windy City vs. Silicon Valley design fight". Bizjournals. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  4. ^ Marek, Lynne (2012-06-11). "Lightbank shines on more startups". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  5. ^ Ricketts, Camille (2010-03-15). "Groupon founders launch $100M 'Lightbank' fund to seed Chicago startups". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
  6. ^ a b "Portfolio". Lightbank. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  7. ^ Business Insider "INSIDE GROUPON: The Truth About The World's Most Controversial Company" October 31, 2011
  8. ^ Truong, Alice (2013-08-27). "Belly Raises $12.1 Million To Replace Loyalty Cards With Its App". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  9. ^ Inc, Boom Technology. "Japan Airlines and Boom Announce Partnership for Supersonic Air Travel". Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  10. ^ "". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  11. ^ "Investors park $4.5 million in SpotHero". Crain's Chicago Business. 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  12. ^ Wolinsky, David. "Lightbank Gives $3 Million in Financing to Udemy". NBC Chicago. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  13. ^ Sky, Blue. "Lefkofsky lands back at Lightbank after stepping down as Groupon CEO". Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  14. ^ "Paul Lee wants to blow up the venture-capital model". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  15. ^ "Formation 8 founder Jim Kim and longtime VC Paul Lee partner on a new fund called Builders". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  16. ^ Elahi, Amina. "Lightbank names new managing partner, Lefkofsky and Keywell step back". Retrieved 2017-08-02.

External links[edit]