Detroit Venture Partners Reportedly Invests $750K in Chalkfly

According to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business today, Detroit Venture Partners is poised to announce it has invested $750,000 in Chalkfly, a startup Xconomy profiled in September.

Joining the round is Bizdom; Ludlow Ventures, which is also located with Chalkfly in downtown Detroit’s Madison Building; Rick DeVos’ Grand Rapids-based Start Garden; and the Chicago-based Griffon Ventures, Crain’s says

Chalkfly was founded by the Andrew and Ryan Landau, brothers who grew up in metro Detroit before going on to careers at IBM and Google. They moved back for a stint in the Bizdom accelerator with an idea: To reinvent the experience of buying office and school supplies.

“We said, why don’t we make this experience great by offering more than 15,000 products, 24-7 live customer service, 365-day no-hassle returns, and free shipping,” Andrew told us last fall.

What makes Chalkfly interesting is that it donates 5 percent of each purchase back to local teachers and schools. The company allows customers to select a teacher, school, or organization to benefit from the 5 percent donation. If a customer doesn’t have anyone specific in mind, Chalkfly puts the money into its general donation fund, where it’s spread around to different classrooms and initiatives in Detroit.

“Our mom was a teacher,” Andrew said. “Education is a family value—a great education sets a foundation for opportunities later in life. We want to empower others to do the same.”

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