Rev1 Ventures Launches Second Corporate-backed Fund to Support High-Growth Companies in Ohio and Beyond

Rev1 Fund II $20MM Fund to Fuel More Startups in Great Lakes Region


Columbus, OH – June 9, 2021 – Today, Rev1 Ventures, the startup studio that combines capital and strategic services to help startups scale and corporates innovate, is announcing the launch of Rev1 Fund II, a $20MM corporate-backed fund aimed at supporting high-growth companies in Ohio and beyond. This marks the second fund of its kind for Rev1, following Rev1 Fund I’s success, which fueled growth for companies like Updox, MentorcliQ, and Aware.

“In light of the many challenges this past year has put forth, it’s never been more important for startups to have the funding and support they need to thrive,” said Tom Walker, CEO of Rev1 Ventures. “Our approach meets entrepreneurs’ individual needs and growth plans and connects them with corporate and research partners to help them access customers and markets. The success of Fund I, as evidenced by the growth of startups like Updox, has allowed us to attract new, more diverse startups into our fold, and we’re proud to be offering investments to ventures outside of Ohio for the first time with Fund II.”

Rev1 Fund II will invest in high-growth seed and early-stage companies in the digital health, healthcare IT, HR technology, fintech, insurtech, data analytics, enterprise Software as a Service, and life sciences sectors. Rev1 Fund II will be a key part of the Rev1 Ventures funding continuum, which includes Catalyst Fund II and State Auto Labs Fund I, and its new pre-seed fund, Future Value Fund I.

“The value of Rev1’s resources, outside of just funding, cannot be overstated for the growth of our company in the last few years,” said Dave Billiter, co-founder and CEO of Deep Lens, an AI company focused on enabling faster recruitment of the best-suited cancer patients for clinical trials at the time of diagnosis. “Access to the startup studio and to their expertise has allowed us to grow in a sustainable way. Having Rev1 as a continued partner made a difference for us, and the proof is in becoming the market leader in clinical trial matching for pharmaceutical sponsors and community hospitals and practices.” 

The fund is supported by corporate investors from the Columbus area, including Nationwide, Worthington, and Crane, all of whom invested in Fund I in 2016. Joined by new investors Huntington, U.S. Bank, Drive, and the University of Dayton. Institutional investors in the Rev1 Fund II include:

  •    Worthington Industries
  •    Crane Group
  •    Cardinal Health
  •    Dispatch Printing Company
  •    Nationwide
  •    Huntington Bank 
  •    Drive Capital
  •    AEP Ohio
  •    The Ohio State University
  •    U.S. Bank
  •    University of Dayton


Last year, the startups in the Great Lakes raised approximately $5.7 billion, up from $5 billion across 909 deals in 2018, according to data from PitchBook, and the region has seen a 400 percent increase in venture capital funding since 2006, but still only accounts for four percent of venture funding nationally. In 2020, Rev1 invested in 25 companies, making it one of the most active seed fund investors nationally.

“The Midwest’s startups and entrepreneurs need more support and access to a team of experts who can help them build great companies,” said Sue Zazon, President Central Ohio Region at Huntington. “The Rev1 Fund II is the type of resource these businesses need to scale – and we’re committed to supporting them.”