Lightbank Heads East, Opens Office In New York

As we reported a few weeks ago, VC firm Lightbank is looking to expand its investments beyond Chicago. The VC firm started by Groupon seed investors Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell is announcing its second location in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan.

The company currently has six investments in the NYC area but plans to grow this number of investments. The firm will continue to focus on early-stage tech companies, with areas of particular interest including enterprise, ecommerce, advertising technology, media and health. Lightbank principal Vicki Levine will head up activities at the firm’s New York office, with participation from the firm’s partners, including Lefkofsky, Keywell and Paul Lee.

Levine adds that she and the other staff in the area will be involved in the New York startup community in the same way Lightbank has had a presence in the Chicago startup world.

Keywell tells us that a presence in New York is a logical first extension of the VC firm. “The innovation coming out of NYC is exceptional,” he says, “and more capital in a region is a good thing for the entrepreneurial community.” He adds that Lightbank will be both incubating companies as well as providing seed and early-stage funding to startups in the area.

To date, Lightbank and its founders have started nine companies, and raised more than $1.5 billion.