A group of investment professionals with ties to Chicago's financial industry said it plans to invest up to $100 million in up to five active lifestyle companies through an investment company they founded in 2012.
Partners Erich Tengelsen, Steve Groya and Tao Huang said they founded their investment firm Light Range to provide patient capital to “like-minded business owners that share the same values‐driven mindset in building business with an eye towards sustainability and long-term growth, not simply just short-term profits.”
The firm made its first investment in 2013 when it acquired a stake in Freedom Electronics, a company based near Atlanta that distributes components for POS systems. The partners offer combined experience of more than 75 years.
Tengelsen is a founding partner and former co-CEO of Chicago Trading Company (CTC), a leading market-making firm that specializes in exchange listed derivatives and currently employs 325 with offices in Chicago, New York and London. Tengelsen stepped away from the day-to-day operations of CTC at the end of 2009 to build out the foundation that he started with his wife Jennifer that focuses on inner-city education and childhood obesity.
Tao was formerly chief operating officer for the global investment research company Morningstar Inc. During his tenure as COO, Morningstar’s revenue grew from $70 million in 2000 to $550 million in 2010.
Groya was recently a managing director at Prairie Capital, a private equity fund with over $750M of capital under management. During his 10 years at the firm, Groya was responsible for investment origination, due diligence, deal structuring, and ongoing business building as a member of numerous portfolio companies’ board of directors. Prior to joining Prairie, Groya spent three years at William Blair Capital Partners, a Chicago-based private equity fund that made growth equity investments and two years in William Blair’s Corporate Finance department.