Ohio’s Drive Capital revs up $1bn for two funds

Drive Capital has raised $1bn across two new funds to serve companies in the so-called 'Driveway,' a region spanning from the Hudson River to the Rocky Mountains often overlooked by investors.

Columbus, Ohio-based Drive Capital has raised $1 billion across two new funds to serve companies in the so-called “Driveway,” a region spanning from the Hudson River to the Rocky Mountains often overlooked by investors.

“Even before covid-19, the venture industry was coming around to the fact that not all great start-up ideas were in Silicon Valley,” Chris Olsen, firm co-founder and partner, said in a statement. “But too often that meant firms would pursue opportunities in emerging markets in China, India or elsewhere. We are proving our ‘Driveway’ thesis out, and our two new funds position us to take founders even farther over the next 10 years.”

Drive did not disclose the names of investors in the new funds. However, LPs in previous funds include the Delaware Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Ohio State University Endowment, Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System and Ventura County Employees’ Retirement Association, according to PitchBook.

The new capital brings Drive’s assets under management to $2.2 billion.

Founded in 2013, Drive Capital invests in seed-stage, early-stage and later-stage companies in the robotics, education technology, artificial intelligence, healthcare, fintech and cybersecurity sectors.

Previous investments include Olive, a Medicaid managed care company; Beam Benefits, an employee benefits provider; and Path Robotics, an automation company.

Drive portfolio companies that have achieved an exit include Fast Radius, which did a reverse merger valued at $345 million in February; Duolingo, which completed a $521 million IPO in July 2021; and Root Insurance, which launched a $724 million IPO in October 2020, according to PitchBook.