• Strong, passionate entrepreneurial team ... significant content and intangibles

  • Right market timing ... readiness

  • Bright-line competitive differentiation.... idea/concept, revenue model, customer experience, delivery scheme

Obsess VR

Obsess is a Virtual/Augmented/Mixed Reality platform for experiential shopping utilizing a software platform that enables Brands and Retailers to create immersive, branded, discovery-based shopping experiences on the web and in VR/AR headsets.  The new 3D medium of VR/AR/MR is expected grow rapidly over the next few years, and soon it will be as necessary for brands to have virtual stores as it is to have online stores today.  The technology Obsess is building is targeted at powering the next generation of retail experiences for Gen Z and millennial consumers....the "Shopify of VR".


The founding team has experience across Google, Microsoft, Vogue, GQ, and various startups.  The first deployment of the Obsess technology was at New York Fashion Week in February 2017 in partnership with Samsung.  Obsess has just raised a pre-seed investment round for accelerating platform development efforts, including funding from a NY TechStars award.

CURRENT PORTFOLIO 


  • Tipsi:   Wine retailer/consumer data app/platform ... a wine data application/platform that allows wine merchants/retailers to optimize wine sales and overall consumer satisfaction and provides consumers “sommelier-in-a-pocket” and digital wine cellar (investment, fund raising, advisory, governance).

  • 150ELM:   A vertically-integrated solution for vineyards  DtC  marketing, sales/delivery ... for wine brands / vineyards (both U.S. and non-U.S.)  seeking to increase direct-to-consumer sales  in the United States.  Through a proprietary data science and business intelligence dashboard, a best-in-class e-commerce platform, consumer micro-targeting methodologies, and a disruptive importation DtC solution, 150ELM  is reinventing the way wineries reach and sell to their customers (fund raising, advisory)

  • Hawthorne's Market: E-grocery/fresh market retailer ... a unique, profitable e-grocery format combining the best of convenient, on-line shopping and in-store fresh shopping experience in high-density, urban neighborhoods (investment, fund raising, advisory, governance).

  • CapLinked:  Cloud app and blockchain platform for secure enterprise information/document sharing and security services ... positioned as the "go-to" place for setting up and closing deals and intercompany arrangements among financial institutions, corporates, advisory and legal firms (investment, advisory, governance).

  • Long Blockchain:  new entry into exploration and investment in opportunities that leverage benefits of blockchain technology.  Has wholly-owned subsidiary focused on a portfolio of  non-CSD, ready-to-drink tea addressing the quality/mid-price quadrant and with well-known brand name with profile to carry flavor expansion and potential alcohol mix (investment, advisory).  Exited, following NASDAQ listing, at 1.6x.

  • Obsess:  Virtual/Augmented Reality platform for experiential shopping.... enables Brands and Retailers to create immersive, branded, discovery-based shopping experiences that work on the web and in VR/AR headsets (investment, advisory).

  • GoParrot:  AI-based chat platform ....enables customers to view menus, make inquiries, and place orders with their favorite restaurants over chat channels (investment, advisory).

  • Shortest Track:  a blockchain-enabled AI  development/management platform .... a blockchain solution making the buying/selling of AI more enlightened, productive, transparent --  means, significantly more "certain" and "successful".  Connects data scientists who are the algorithm development "rock stars" with business users who highly value (need) AI-powered solutions to deliver superior economics, customer experience, optimized processes, etc., together with processes to manage the creation, access, performance, and payment aspects (advisory, fund raising).

  • Ooot: Endurance sports nutrition support system ... venture built around a series of a convenient solid food forms that fuel like a gel (food, no goo), coupled with a highly functional, easy-to-use metering package to deliver nutrition during the race (advisory, fund raising).

  • Lighting for Impact:  Innovative solution for bringing power to the retail shelf....provides a full line of LED lighting solutions to bring a much more attractive, attention-grabbing shopping experience for customers and retailers (advisory).

  • GenoStyle:  Consumer and brand/retailer shopping platform ....allows fashion brands, retailers to understand, articulate style preferences and behaviors,  giving customers a truly personalized experience and retailers the ability to optimize commercial/merchandising decisions (advisory, fund raising).

  • Strong cash flow and margin economics

  • Clear market development/revenue roadmaps, ramp-scale options, adjacencies​

  • Avenues for managing upside/downside risks

ACTIVE INVESTMENTS PROFILE ​

 Tipsi

Tipsi is simplifying the business of wine by offering a suite of digital services to wine merchants/retailers and beverage event producers.  Tipsi's mobile inventory management system, combined with its proprietary 1m+ beverage product database, allows clients to easily create and manage customized digital marketing solutions tailored to their specific needs.  Solutions include:  restaurant web wine lists, menu pairings and master sommelier notes;  digital tasting books; and, indoor inventory mapping for wine retailers to adapt the business of wine to the next generation of emerging wine consumers.


The merchant's full-scope solution provides a SaaS platform for beverage retail focusing on product content, loyalty, commerce, and software systems integration.  Tipsi builds design and brand-centric custom web, mobile, and app-based solutions for physical beverage retailers across the U.S.  Tipsi's software integrates into exisiting store operations and legacy technology to offer retailers an immediate comprehensive digital strategy at a fraction of the direct/opportunity cost of building internally.


Tipsi has completed several rounds of seed fundraising focused on data/product development and the diner/restaurant platform.  Tipsi  has just concluded the first close on its Series A Preferred Shares offering, led by Asper Group, in a raise to support its wine shopper app /merchant-retailer platform development and revenue ramp throughout several major metro areas.

INVESTMENT CRITERIA, PROFILE ​

​GoParrot

GoParrot uses proprietary AL-based software that allows restaurant group venues/brands to have a direct chat-based (FaceBook Messenger, for example) communication/connection with their customers, without the intrusive 3rd-party ordering/delievery intermediary and without the pain endured by customers in having to download and maintain a multitude of restaurant-specific apps.  Chat allows restaurants to interact with their customers re inquiries dealing with order placement, reservations, special event promotions, and other outreach initiatives.  Restaurants own the content, the customer relatioships and the data....using all to motivate frequency, loyalty, and retention.  GoParrot materially improves the restaurant's economics by eliminating excessive fees taken by 3rd-parties and through revenue lift (frequency, ticket size).  The GoParrot platform is seamless in that the platform has integration capabilities to smoothly connect with the restaurant's existing approaches in order management, kitchen line ops, checkout/PoS, delivery solutions/contractors, and marketing schemes.  And, it's cool....the way people  communicate!   

The founders have strong AI and data/engineering expertise, as well as 15  plus years of startup experience.  GoParrot is raising a pre-seed round with funding used to drive technology platform extensions and restaurant acquisition.

Great businesses are built by passionate entrepreneurs with an idea and an exceptional understanding of the customer and the marketplace

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Barrington, Illinois 60010

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Hawthorne Markets

Hawthorne’s is a highly differentiated e-commerce/ marketplace (fresh/organic, nutritious food and value-conscious center-store staples), combining an e-grocery platform/app and in-store shopping/collection point  ... competitively differentiated, bringing high growth and superior economics. 

Hawthorne's has pre-seed investment supporting consumer/neighborhood market research and concept/business plan development work.  The co-founders are in the course of a seed raise to fund the first-phase launch of hub-spoke stores in selected Chicago neighborhoods.

PORTFOLIO SUMMARY ​

CapLinked

CapLinked  provides an effective means to securely share information across multiple enterprises, making it easier, faster and safer to manage business transactions in the cloud.  CapLinked  is building out its cloud-based portfolio, including the web application enterprise platform of document-sharing tools and well as its SaaS/API-powered offering . 


And, CapLinked has recently announced development of decentralized protocols for secure information control using blockchain technology.  Integral to this, the Founders announced a partnership with Storj Labs, a decentralized cloud storage provider, to host confidential business documents and transactions using blockchain.  In support of this thrust, CapLinked is launching an Initial Coin Offering for a special-purpose token to be employed in driving development and use of the CapLinked Blockchain Network.


Globally-recognized customers in over 40 countries use CapLinked .  Principal use cases include:  due diligence, client onboarding/KYC, licensing, business development and corporate development repository, investor reporting, deal marketing, and all manner of other secure document sharing.  Among other recognitions, Inc. named CapLinked to its list of "5 Back-office Tech Innovations".

CapLinked has completed several funding rounds to drive an expanded product roadmap realization and the recently-announced blockchain initiative, together with aggressive customer acquisition and revenue ramp plans.    
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Market-driven, Customer-Centric Ventures Investing ... Acceleration