Winnebago Seed Fund, Part of Badger Fund of Funds, Raises $11M

A Wisconsin venture capital fund created under a state-supported program has raised $11 million.

The Winnebago Seed Fund said the size of the funding round could top out at $12 million, according to a document filed with federal securities regulators. Thirty-one investors participated in the round, according to the filing. The fund is based in Neenah and is part of the Badger Fund of Funds initiative.

The Badger Fund of Funds launched after leaders behind the program submitted a proposal to the state in 2014 calling for a combination of public and private dollars to flow into a central Badger Fund, which would provide capital to recipient funds, like the Winnebago Seed Fund, for investing in startups. According to the proposal, both the Badger Fund (which is not set up to make direct investments in startups) and the recipient funds (which are) must raise outside capital to complement the taxpayer money provided to them.

The Badger Fund reportedly committed $4 million to the Winnebago Seed Fund last summer. The fund closed its first fundraising effort in February, according to a press release. The document showing the fund raised $11 million was filed with securities regulators this week.

David Trotter, managing director of the Winnebago Seed Fund, and Ken Johnson, one of two general partners overseeing the fund-of-funds program, did not immediately respond to messages asking when the recipient fund would likely start investing in early-stage companies.

The Badger Fund of Funds has named two other recipient funds to date. One is the Idea Fund of La Crosse, which raised $8.1 million in March. The other is Rock River Capital Partners, based in southern Wisconsin. That fund was unveiled in April, at which time it said it had raised $6 million from the central Badger Fund.

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