Motivate will principally invest in tech and tech-enabled businesses in their first round of outside funding, filling a substantial and ever-widening funding gap in an otherwise robust startup funding ecosystem. The firm will begin making investments in Fall 2019.
Prior to founding Motivate, Wieland was the co-founder and CEO of hotel technology firm Innflux, which exited to private equity firm TZP, Founder and Managing Partner of iEstates, a digital business holding company, founder and CEO of video hiring platform RIVS which exited to private equity firm Clovis Point, and co-founder and Chairman of IrishAngels, a Notre Dame inspired early-stage investment firm.
DeLuca is the co-founder of fintech investor relations firm Oxford Intelligence, which exited to strategic acquirer Q4; co-founder of Victory Networks, a trading infrastructure provider; and a co-founder of two proprietary trading firms, Sumo Capital and Budo Holdings.
As two of the most active angel investors in the Midwest with over 120 early stage investments since 2012, Wieland and DeLuca made the decision to formalize and consolidate their investing efforts early in 2019 after realizing several successful exits.
Relying on their unique experience as founders, operators, and investors, Wieland and DeLuca will focus their energy on partnering with very high-growth startups attacking massive markets in various sectors, but may be too early for most traditional venture capital firms. Motivate helps its portfolio companies by helping to validate their theses, build out their teams, and source follow-on funding.