Inspired Capital, founded by Alexa von Tobel and Penny Pritzker, just closed its debut fund with $200 million
Exactly 10 years ago, onstage at a TechCrunch event, Alexa von Tobel launched her startup, LearnVest, an online financial planning company that aimed to give people access to more affordable financial planning services.
Much has happened in the subsequent years. LearnVest went on to raise roughly $70 million from investors, then sold for $375 million to the insurance giant Northwestern Mutual in 2015. Four days later, von Tobel had her first child. She then headed back to Northwestern, where she ran LearnVest as a separate unit, became Northwestern’s chief innovation officer and ultimately headed up its venture arm, Northwest Mutual Future Ventures.
Fast-forward a bit, and one gathers von Tobel has no plans to slow down. Days after it was announced in January that she was leaving Northwestern, she filed paperwork with the SEC for a new fund with a $200 million target, called Inspired Capital. In April came another baby, followed by some recruiting, fundraising and investing, and today, von Tobel is officially taking the wraps off that debut fund — it hit its $200 million target — along with Inspired’s small but growing portfolio of investments and its full team.
As part of the big reveal, Inspired Capital, based in New York, is being spearheaded by both von Tobel and Penny Pritzker, a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce under former President Barack Obama and serial entrepreneur who currently serves on the boards of Microsoft and Harvard, among others.
Pritzker and von Tobel have known