Starting Line Closes $30 Million Second Fund for Consumer Technology Startup Companies

By Thomas Price Monday, April 12, 2021

With more startups and small businesses cropping up in the consumer technology business sector, the need for early-stage funding is larger than ever before. This is especially true for startup companies creating technology that falls outside of proprietary software or focuses on luxury products, as both areas see relatively strong funding from venture capital firms. Starting Line is an investment company looking to support startups creating technology and products that can be directly brought to everyday consumers. The company recently closed on its second fund with plans to expand its funding for startups and small businesses.

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Starting Line Investment Philosophy and Second Fund

Investment company Starting Line is a Chicago-based venture capital firm that has closed a $30 million second fund. The funding was raised by a large group of individual investors alongside Foundry Group, Vintage Investment Partners, Bracket Capital, 50 South Capital, and Wicklow Capital.

The company had previously raised a $17 million first fund that saw Starting Line find notable success despite the relatively small amount of money.

The most important investment that the company made was to lead a seed round in celebrity video service company Cameo. Other significant investments from Starting Line have been cooking appliance startup Made In Cookware and bitcoin-backed lending business Unchained Capital.

All of these startup companies and businesses fall under the investing philosophy of Starting Line and offer services or products to regular consumers that can be used at affordable levels. The investment company focuses specifically on consumer technology businesses in the United States (US) with special attention on Chicago-based startup companies. The company does not invest in enterprise technology or luxury products unless the startup offers it at a significantly more affordable price point than its competitors.

Plans for the Starting Line Second Fund

Starting Line follows a very specific investment strategy. The company prefers to lead early-stage seed funding rounds with investments between $750,000 and $2 million. Unlike other venture capital firms, Starting Line takes on a larger upfront risk by investing 75% of its capital early on, leaving only 25% for follow-up rounds. This strategy allows for higher overall stake and reward if the startup or business ends up a success but does create an inherently riskier system.

The company makes between five and six investments every year, so this second fund should continue to hold dividends for the company for several years.

When commenting on the closing on the second fund, founding partner at Starting Line Ezra Galston said, “Over the past two and a half years, Starting Line has proven that you can discover extraordinary entrepreneurs and generate world class returns, even while being headquartered in Chicago. Every teenager with a phone is now capable of becoming an entrepreneur, a creator, even their own brand, and we are witnessing an explosion of creativity, wholly untethered to the geographies and ecosystems that used to matter. We have built a young, diverse investment team from the ground up and are proud that we have cultivated an authentic, relatable venture capital fund for so many local entrepreneurs who didn't know where else to turn.”

About the Author

Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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