Leveraging its $51 million Fund of Funds to drive early stage innovation and venture investment, Cintrifuse today announced its Fund is investing in Lerer Hippeau Ventures IV, a top-tier venture capital fund, to increase seed and early stage venture leadership in Cincinnati. Based in New York, New York with over $130 million under management, Lerer Hippeau Ventures (“LHV”) invests in the earliest stages of a startup’s life – a complementary strategy for a growing startup ecosystem like Cincinnati.
“LHV’s portfolio is enviable and they’ve really got a knack for digital media and publishing, which is favorable to a lot of the companies in our region,” notes Tim Schigel, Cintrifuse fund manager. “It’s also our first seed fund investment so it should spur some syndication (partnering with other funds) here locally.”
LHV is widely viewed as one of the top firms in NYC with investments in such companies as Buzzfeed, Birchbox, Thrillist Media Group, MakerBot, Plated, Percolate and Barkbox, among nearly 200 others. As featured in a New York Magazine article earlier this year (Our Congenial Web Overlords, Jessica Pressler), the firm has its fingers on the pulse of up-and-coming technology and its fingerprints on many successful startups. LHV has been active in Cincinnati with the Brandery and is now looking forward to rounding out that relationship with other partners and perhaps investing in other portfolio companies.
“Since our founding four years ago, we’ve been focused primarily on fueling the New York and West Coast tech scenes. With our fourth fund, we’re looking forward to selectively seeking investment opportunities outside these regions,” said Eric Hippeau, Managing Director at LHV and former CEO of the Huffington Post. “Cincinnati is particularly interesting with a great deal of startup growth potential and we are extremely excited to be partnering with Cintrifuse, which sits at the center of innovation in the city.”
Among the qualities that attracted the Cintrifuse Fund Investment Committee to LHV was its willingness to ‘greenhouse’ companies it invests in. This approach allows for the most-promising entrepreneurs to continue to be mentored and grow while their business ideas are still gaining traction. This is seen by some as a risky approach, but when compared to the impressive track record LHV has established and the substantial network of successful entrepreneurs it can draw from – the proof is in the portfolio.