Benzinga.com announced today that Lightbank LLC, the technology investment fund started by Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, has invested $1.5 million in the financial market news and analysis service company.
The investment is the first time that Benzinga, operated by Bingham Farms-based Accretive Capital LLC, has received outside funds and is among the largest investments made by Keywell and Lefkofsky.
“We had other offers at the time from other investors, and when we looked at the firms, we kept coming back to who was going to help us grow and who was going to keep coming back to help us,” said Jason Raznick, president and co-founder of Benzinga. “Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell have a very good history of being able to scale, and I thought they really could help us grow things and become a great partner.”
The company, with offices in Chicago and Delaware, provides real-time financial news and trading tips to investors and began operating in spring 2010.
The investment will hit close to home for Southfield native Lefkofsky, who grew up in Michigan and attended the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School.
The investment will be used for growth and hiring in the metro Detroit office, said Kyle Bazzy, vice president of product development.
“We’re concentrating on bringing in a lot of good talent from Detroit and really grow the technical side of everything,” Bazzy said. “The investment will showcase how much we’re doing here and it’s part of our strategy to grow as fast as we can.”
Benzinga has 22 employees and hopes to have 35 by the end of the year, Raznick said. He is looking for new office space in the Southfield or Farmington Hills area.
Benzinga is cash-flow positive, has between two and three million page views a month, and the bulk of its revenue comes from subscriptions and advertising, Bazzy said.