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Chicago, IL (May 7, 2021) — Chicago-based venture capital firm M25 has announced the close of its third fund, a $31.8M vehicle raised to continue to build upon M25’s commitment to backing early-stage tech startups headquartered in the Midwest.

M25’s newest fund comes in at nearly triple the size of its last, signaling that the firm’s strategy and execution are hitting the mark. The firm was founded in 2015 with the thesis that startups headquartered in the Midwest can generate better returns than their coastal peers.

In addition, Fund III’s size allows M25 to lead pre-seed and seed round deals…


Authored By Luke Skertich & Victor Gutwein

Source: giphy

Recap

A few years ago we wrote about due diligence (DD) in the spirit of better communication to entrepreneurs who pitch us at M25, LPs that invest in us, and co-investors who trust us when joining a round alongside us. Though our goal remains the same, our process has evolved from our learnings.

Let’s play “two truths and a lie” to recap some takeaways from our last post.

  • Due diligence should be relative to the size, scale and history of the company.
  • We have to meet founders in person before investing — no exceptions.


Authored by Victor Gutwein & Luke Skertich

Let’s hop in our time machine and go back to the middle of March (agreed, it feels like years ago)…

Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/tcm-tcmff-science-fiction-film-tcmff2020-chPWemdEXVzD0Zhcce

In the middle of March, we had something on our mind — no not toilet paper, though it was definitely up there — but rather ‘impact’.

  • What impact would COVID have on getting back into the office and meeting founders face to face?
  • What impact would COVID have on portfolio performance? Is this a 2009 vintage or something else?
  • What impact would COVID have on the lifeblood of our industry — dealflow?

It…


We’re good investors, but today we at M25 are proclaiming that in the same way “good people aren’t good enough,” good investors simply aren’t good enough in the context of anti-racism and equity.

Today, we’re announcing that M25 isn’t just a good firm, but an anti-racist firm, and one who’s committed to taking specific action in support of anti-racism here and now, for the long term.

Roughly two and a half years ago, M25’s partners Victor Gutwein and Mike Asem stood with other investors in our industry and took the “Stewardship Pledge for the Innovation Investor,” a pledge that was…


Highlighting this year’s biggest winners in a surging tech ecosystem

Interactive version here.

This is the third year we have ranked the tech ecosystems of 54 Midwest cities, and the overarching data continues to show the Midwest’s broad growth in tech across the region. The biggest news of the past year seems to be that we welcomed the mega-rounds. Minneapolis’ Bright Health raised $200M in late 2018. In Kansas City, we saw Insight Partners back PayIt with $100M. But that’s just the tip of the mega-round iceberg. Chicago’s Tempus raised $200M in May. Columbus saw Root Insurance raise $100M while Detroit’s StockX snagged $110M. …


225 founder <> investor 1-on-1 meetings in <36 hours.

I feel like we’re starting to get the hang of this.

If you’ve read our posts about the Club M25 Summits in the past, you know we (M25) do these 2-day events twice a year with the goal of lifting our portfolio, feeding that community, and creating better connectivity in the Midwest ecosystem abroad. This year we had 70 founders from 45 startups across 11 Midwestern states in attendance. …


Last week we took our 3rd swing at the Club M25 Summit, and although the other two were great — 2.0 was definitely our best yet.

From a numbers perspective, the event was definitely a success. We had ~60 founders from 37 M25-backed startups, representing 9 different Midwestern states participate. We also had 50+ investors attend the Club M25 Investor Happy Hour (exclusive to them and our companies) to kick off the summit. Possibly the most important stat, which is also a new one we’re tracking for summits going forward, is that M25 facilitated 84 investor-startup one-on-one meetings around the…


Last week we took our 3rd swing at the Club M25 Summit, and although the other two were great — 2.0 was definitely our best yet.

From a numbers perspective, the event was definitely a success. We had ~60 founders from 37 M25-backed startups, representing 9 different Midwestern states participate. We also had 50+ investors attend the Club M25 Investor Happy Hour (exclusive to them and our companies) to kick off the summit. Possibly the most important stat, which is also a new one we’re tracking for summits going forward, is that M25 facilitated 84 investor-startup one-on-one meetings around the…


A month ago, the Kauffman Fellows announced their Stewardship Pledge for the Innovation Investor. For those unfamiliar, the Kauffman Fellows are a group of emerging leaders in the venture capital industry spanning more than 500 investors over 22 years (including Victor Gutwein, M25’s founder). The pledge was created by Fellows for anyone’s use — with the hope that it is adopted broadly across the industry and thoroughly absorbed internally and externally. According to Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach, the pledge “draws inspiration from the original values of Ewing Marion Kauffman and the Kauffman Foundation as well as the professional codes…


An In-depth Look at the Midwest and its Role in Driving Innovation in Agriculture

We at M25 are very proud of our Midwest roots. It is core to our investment thesis, as well as who we are individually.

In the same way that the Midwest is core to us, agriculture is core to the Midwest. Ever drive from Chicago to St. Louis? How about Kansas City to Lincoln, or Columbus to Indianapolis? If you’ve ever driven anywhere across the region, odds are you’ve passed fields on fields on fields filled with anything from corn, to soybeans, to cows. It is hard to miss, and forms a regional historical economic core going back into history.

M25

VC focused on Midwest early-stage #startups. Objective and analytical investment process combined with a risk-mitigating portfolio theory.

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