Peter Barris knows Chicago. The managing partner of the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), who just announced that his company will open an office in Chicago, is a native of the City of Big Shoulders.
Barris has championed Chicago startups not just because he has a soft spot for the city. But because, in fact, he says that Chicago companies have always been a good investment. So far, NEA has funded more than 20 Chicago-based companies to the tune of $300 million. However, they always did so from a distance. Now, NEA will become part of Chicago’s startup landscape.
“This city’s entrepreneurs have transformed traditional industries, like advertising and logistics, and today are shaping new ones, like social media and mobile payments. Establishing an office will help us serve our growing portfolio and become even more deeply rooted in Chicago’s flourishing tech community.”
One local startup which will immediately benefit from the venture firm’s latest move is Braintree, a company which provides online payment solutions. Barris says that NEA will infuse the company with $35 million. According to World Business Chicago, Braintree had revenue of $9.9 million last year (up 895% over the last three years). ❒