Since its founding in 2009, H/L Ventures has forged a new way to build companies. H/L Ventures’ unique approach combines Daily Active Engagement with every portfolio company and a focus on investing in growth, impact, and diversity. Today, H/L Ventures manages a family of companies and funds that together comprise a holistic company-building ecosystem. At the heart of this system is H/L Studio, which was among the first venture studios to include social impact in its investment thesis. That venture studio is now supported by our opportunity fund, CityRock Ventures, and our managed services group, H/L Strategies, among other entities. Our team has pioneered an innovative, effective model that aligns the interests of entrepreneurs, investors, other stakeholders, and society to succeed together. At H/L Ventures, we apply these three key elements across our studios and funds:
How Our Model Works
Daily Active Engagement
A Powerful Ecosystem
Access to Capital
Daily Active Engagement with Founders
Daily Active Engagement with Founders
H/L Ventures’ involvement with our portfolio companies is as hands-on and supportive as possible throughout the entrepreneurship journey. This is the hallmark of H/L’s approach: we hold ourselves to a standard of virtually daily contact with every company in our portfolio, on an open-ended basis. This is not the empty promise of a website value-added page, but the core of our investment thesis. We host weekly calls with our senior portfolio team and each team of founders, which leads to daily activities involving our staff, Venture Partners, EPIRs, advisors, and network of service providers. All of this is in a supportive mode, meant to ensure that whatever needs our portfolio companies have, we remain actively relevant and helpful, every day. This care is given to all portfolio companies, regardless of which H/L Ventures vehicle is engaged.
A powerful ecosystem
We respond effectively and proactively to our portfolio companies via a powerful team and community. Organized in a hub-and-spoke model around our core portfolio staff, four key communities help us co-build companies: Venture Partners & EPIRs, Advisors, Member Partners, and our affiliated Trusted Partner Network. Our team is shared across all our family of studios and funds.Our Organization
Studio company Guaranteed Seed rounds must meet minimum “market” terms to be eligible for funding.
CityRock Ventures Investment describes the capital services provided by H/L Ventures to its portfolio companies generally. These services and the availability of capital investment will vary depending upon the specific portfolio company.
Access to capital
From inception to exit, we provide many different forms of capital. Pre-Series A start-ups benefit from the H/L Studio model, where they enjoy access to virtually every form of capital, including human capital, social capital, networks, experience, and time. H/L does not normally invest in Pre-Seed rounds, focusing on our broad range of value-add services as we build a deeper relationship together via our Studio. We do however offer $100,000 in funding at the formal Seed round stage for our Studio companies1Studio company Seed rounds must meet minimum “market” terms to be eligible for funding., as well as an opportunity to leverage our extensive networks of co-investors to benefit the team’s fundraising efforts. Our opportunity fund, CityRock Venture Partners, invests at Series A and Series B. CityRock funds both qualifying studio portfolio startups and companies that come to us from outside of the studio pipeline, provided they fit our thesis and pass our standard due diligence process. Regardless of placement in the H/L Ventures ecosystem, all of our portfolio companies enjoy full access to our venture studio resources.
High Impact / High Returns
We strongly believe that impact makes good business. We believe both sustainable businesses and diverse founding teams do better — in protecting and promoting people and the planet, as well as in making money. We reject the notion that investing in companies that have a positive impact is concessionary; rather, we believe that these lenses can enhance returns.
Learn About Our Funds
Working on an early stage venture? H/L Studio partners with early stage startups up to pre-Series A, becoming an extension of your team. Learn about how our commitment of time, network, resources, and capital makes us a perfect partner for your entire entrepreneurial journey.Learn about H/L Studio
Are you raising your Series A or B round? Learn about CityRock Ventures, our investment thesis, diligence process and our unique model of funding and supporting entrepreneurs at the nexus of growth potential, financial returns, positive impact, and diverse founding teams.Learn about CityRock Ventures
What is H/L Ventures?
H/L Ventures manages a family of companies and funds that together comprise a holistic company-building ecosystem. At the heart of this system is H/L Studio, which was among the first venture studios to include social impact in its investment thesis. That venture studio is now supported by our opportunity fund, CityRock Ventures, and our managed services group, H/L Strategies, among other entities.
How much investment do you provide?
In the case of pre-Seed companies, H/L Studio takes equity in exchange for partnership: we build first and view our commitment of time, expertise, team, network, and experience as an investment in non-financial capital. As part of the H/L Studio model, our CityRock funds commit to $100,000 investments in the formal Seed Rounds of our studio companies. CityRock reserves the right to invest earlier, at the CityRock Investment Committee’s discretion, and may also elect not to invest in Seed Rounds that (1) materially deviate from NVCA standard terms and/or (2) exceed a cap or post-money valuation of $10M. This does not mean that we would not elect to invest in such rounds, but we are not obligated to do so if the rounds are outside the parameters. CityRock Ventures invests capital at Series A (and occasionally Series B) in both H/L Studio companies and companies coming to us from outside of the studio pipeline. In the case of CityRock investing in a Series A or later round which is not from our studio, CityRock Ventures will also require options/warrants in consideration of the full support of our team for every CityRock portfolio company, regardless of origin. CityRock Ventures invests capital at Series A (and occasionally Series B) in both H/L Studio companies and companies coming to us from outside of the studio pipeline. In the case of CityRock investing in a Series A or later round which is not from our studio, CityRock Ventures will also require options/warrants in consideration of the full support of our team for every CityRock portfolio company, regardless of origin.
If I’m fundraising now, should I still talk to you or should I wait?
That is completely up to you. Our process does not depend on the timing of your fundraise (in fact, we often prefer to start with companies that are not in an active raise). However, if we are able to form an equity partnership before your round closes, we are able to help fundraise and potentially invest. It is important to note that we are neither professional fundraisers, nor a broker/dealer. When we work alongside our portfolio companies to raise money, it is as owners in those companies and working with, not for, the leadership team. This is a crucial distinction and one we take very seriously.