The VCs You Need to Know in Columbus

Evan Weese

By on 09/27/21

The VCs You Need to Know in Columbus

There’s an undeniable momentum to Columbus’ startup scene. 

For a long time, Columbus was known for corporate titans like Nationwide, Wendy’s, and Cardinal Health. Those companies are as relevant as ever, but now they’re joined by—and in some cases supporting—a thriving ecosystem of fast-growing tech companies.

That’s thanks in part to the city’s growing venture capital presence powering high-risk, high-reward startups with equity financing.

It can be hard to stay up to date with all the VC players and their investments, so we’re breaking it down for you.

7 Venture Capital Firms in Columbus, Ohio

1. Drive Capital

Columbus-venture-capital-firms-drive-capital

Drive Capital’s whole ethos is about investing between the coasts, in America’s heartland, and that’s an idea Purpose Jobs can get behind. Their passion for the Midwest is front and center just like ours. They believe the Midwest is the best place to start a business and they put their money where their mouth is. They’re good about bringing Midwesterners that live on the coast back to their hometowns—“boomerangs.” With $1 billion in acquisitions under their belt, they’re a Midwest powerhouse.

Founded: 2013

Leadership: Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen, Co-Founders

Partners: 12

Assets Under Management: $1.2 billion

Investments: 100+

Portfolio Highlights: Root Insurance, Olive, Beam Dental, Branch, Duolingo, Path Robotics

Exits: 5

 

2. Heartland Ventures

Columbus-venture-capital-firms-heartland-ventures

Heartland Ventures invests in early-stage tech startups and connects them to corporate partners in the Midwest. This venture capital firm in Columbus bridges the gap between groundbreaking tech and corporate innovation in the Midwest. 

Founded: 2016

Leadership: Max Brickman, Managing Director

Partners: 3

Assets Under Management: $70 million 

Investments: 11

Portfolio Highlights: Grabango, Third Wave Automation, StrongArm Tech, Soil Connect, Workstream, Parkade

 

3. Ikove Capital 

Columbus-venture-capital-firms-Ikove-Capital

Ikove Capital invests in early-stage companies with a focus on technology commercialization. Known as a "startup nursery," Ikove identifies and vets disruptive technologies at leading research labs and helps launch those into successful startups that deserve to be shared with humanity.

Founded: 2014

Leadership: Flavio Lobato and Rodolfo Bellesi, Co-Founders and Principals. John D’Orazio, Co-Founder and Managing Partner. David Moritz and Robert Lee, Partners.

Portfolio Highlights: Nikola Labs, Matrix Meats, Cognovi Labs

 

4. Loud Capital

columbus-venture-capital-firms-loud-capital

Loud Capital specializes in early-stage investments with a “Venture for People” mindset. LOUD partners with diverse, underserved, and impact-minded entrepreneurs, investors, and emerging managers. They're on a mission to prove that venture and entrepreneurship can both make a difference in this world and be inclusive.

Founded: 2015

Leadership: Navin Goyal, MD, Co-Founder and CEO. Darshan Vyas, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer

Partners: 7

Assets Under Management: $50 million

Portfolio Highlights: Hyperion Motors, Raydiant Oximetry, Offor Health

 

5. Ohio Innovation Fund

Columbus-venture-capital-firms-ohio-innovation-fund

The Ohio Innovation Fund specializes in early-stage companies based in Ohio. This Columbus venture capital firm makes industry-agnostic investments, including SaaS, MedTech, biopharma, cell & gene therapy, cyber security, and artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Founded: 2016

Leadership: Bill Baumel, Managing Director; Faith Voinovich, Principal 

Partners: 2 General Partners, 3 Venture Partners

Portfolio Highlights: Stirling Ultracold, ScriptDrop, Enable Injections, Aware, Immuta, eFuse

Exits: 15+

 

6. Pride Fund

Columbus-venture-captial-firms-pride-fund-1

A joint venture between LOUD Capital and Atlas Venture Partners, Pride Fund specializes in early-stage startups led by members of the LGBTQ+ community. The fund was launched in 2020 and continues to empower LGBTQ+ tech founders in Columbus and beyond. 

Founded: 2020

Leadership: Densil Porteous, CEO 

Portfolio Highlights:  Revry, OpticSurg 

 

7. Rev1 Ventures

Columbus-venture-capital-firms-rev1-ventures

Last on our list, but certainly not least, is Rev1 Ventures. In addition to funding, Rev1 provides guidance, connections, and even physical space. In 2020, Rev1's investments have helped generate more than $113MM in revenue and nearly $140MM in exits for the region’s startups.

Founded: 2013

Leadership: Tom Walker, CEO

Partners: 47 corporate funding partners and investors

Assets Under Management: $130 million

Investments: 209

Portfolio Highlights: ScriptDrop, PriorAuthNow, Seamless.AI, Mobikit, Ubihere, Updox, 3Bar Biologics

Exits: 15

 

The Columbus tech ecosystem is rapidly expanding, and tech talent is choosing Columbus for living and working. If you're building your team in Columbus, get introduced to top talent and post a job for free

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