Our Portfolio Investments


The FireStarter Fund (www.FireStarterFund.com) is a venture fund focused on early-stage digital technology investments.  The fund is financially backed and managed by founders and CEO's of some of Chicago's most successful digital businesses.  Click here to see a list of the members.  This combination of capital and mentorship from proven digital executives, is a powerful combination for young entrepreneurs to successfully grow their businesses.  Red Rocket can be a conduit to entrepreneurs seeking capital from FireStarter Fund, which makes first investments in the $50K to $250K range.  Portfolio companies include RetrofitUpCity, Kapow Events, Hireology, GiveForward, Cartavi, ShiftGig, Pangea, BlitsyFood GeniusMightyNestRight At SchoolSpotHeroMoxie Jean, Shelfbucks, Public Good and Home Chef.
Freebie (www.FreebieApp.com) is a next-generation social influencer marketing platform where companies can offer exclusive access and free products/remarkable experiences to socially influential consumers who serve as brand ambassadors who help drive ROI through social media. Freebie leverages peer-to-peer endorsement to bring companies increased awareness/traffic/sales/customers, valuable analytics at the social influencer level and a clearly trackable ROI on your social marketing spend.  Why pay advertising to the social publishers, when you can put those resources directly into the hands of the influential users of those social networks, who are best positioned to light the viral fire for your company.
Tastebud's (www.tastebud.co)  retail platform helps malls, outlets and shopping districts deliver personalized offers and loyalty programs to shoppers.  Their mobile applications integrate with the latest beacon technology to provide real-time, hyperlocal offers to consumers while they are shopping.  The offers are generated based on a user's exact tastes and interests, which are powered by the company's Tastebud games and StyleSeek algorithms which help define a users "Style DNA", much like a personal shopper would.

MediaRecall (www.MediaRecall.com) is a digital video services and technology business anchored by a 2,000 person distributed media workforce and related technologies. Red Rocket identified that MediaRecall was a “right time, right place” story as major film studios, television networks and cable companies were racing to get their historical content digitized for new found revenues online. Red Rocket took a minority stake in MediaRecall in January 2009, negotiated a strategic relationship between MediaRecall and Getty Images in May 2009 and negotiated the sale of MediaRecall to Deluxe ($1BN revenue business) in February 2010.

iExplore (www.iExplore.com) is the #1 ranked website for adventure and experiential travel, serving over 1,000,000 visitors per month at its website. iExplore was founded by Red Rocket’s George Deeb. Red Rocket lead all the rounds of the company’s $20MM in financing, from reputable firms like Soros Funds, Madison Dearborn, Tribune Ventures, Bear Ventures, William Harris Investors and the OBW Group. Red Rocket also negotiated a five year strategic relationship with National Geographic, who became an investor in iExplore. Red Rocket also negotiated the reorganization of iExplore in January 2002 (post 9/11/01), and the ultimate sale of the business to TUI Travel PLC ($25BN revenue business) in January 2007. 

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