Spool launches VC, startup offerings

The business units will primarily focus on underrepresented founders.

Catherine Merritt headshot
Merritt founded Spool in 2018.

CHICAGO: Spool has created an investment arm, Spool Ventures, and a startup practice, Spindle. 

Spool Ventures is the formulation of Spool’s investments in four venture capital funds: Silicon Road Ventures, Supply Change Capital, Portfolia’s Food and AgTech fund and Portfolia’s Green and Sustainability fund.

Spool is also a sweat-equity investor in coconut water sports drink startup Coco5

Catherine Merritt, Spool founder and CEO, will oversee the agency’s investment practice. Merritt said that she had always “felt the want and need to shake up the VC space,” helping drive the “ideas that are not seeing the light of day” forward.

“I think we can make massive social impact changes through [this] industry,” she added. 

Spool Ventures and Spindle will priortize investing and working with startups run by women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and other underrepresented founders. 

Spindle will offer startups marketing support at a lower bill rate to reflect the challenges that minority leaders face garnering traditional investment.

According to Bloomberg, female founders received just 2% of venture capital in the U.S. during 2021. 

Spindle will also explore exchanging services for sweat equity. Edward Hoffman, one of Spool’s consultants, will lead the agency’s startup offering. Hoffman reports to Merritt. 

For its beta launch in Q1 and Q2, Spindle partnered with Pop Up Grocer to provide marketing services for jerky brand Jack & Friends. 

Merritt founded Spool four years ago after serving as MSL’s consumer practice leader. The firm has nearly 30 staffers. 

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