Detroit’s Fontinalis Partners Launches Special Venture Program


Fontinalis Partners, a venture capital firm based in downtown Detroit that is focused on next-generation mobility, today announced the formation of its Special Venture Partner program to help the firm’s portfolio companies reach new markets.

“We founded Fontinalis on the premise that a deep, strategic focus with an actionable network could help scale the best mobility companies globally, and this program represents our commitment to that thesis,” says William C. Ford Jr., a co-founder and partner at Fontinalis, and executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn.

The program team, led by Mark Schulz, a founding partner at Fontinalis and a former senior executive at Ford, includes Luis Blaquier, former executive director of Goldman Sachs; Mei-Wei Cheng, former CEO of both Siemens North East Asia and Ford Motor Co. (China) Ltd.; Gabe Klein, who implemented the Chicago Riverwalk project and the city’s bike sharing program while running the Chicago Department of Transportation; and Paul Mascarenas, who previously served as Ford’s chief technical officer and vice president of research and advanced engineering.

“I cannot think of better individuals to launch this new program with,” says Ralph Booth, a co-founder and managing partner at Fontinalis, which also has an office in Boston. “We continue to see tremendous opportunities in next-generation mobility, and we look forward to engaging them in a variety of value-added initiatives.”

The firm’s current portfolio companies include: Life360, which provides online safety and security services for families; LocoMobi, a smart parking solutions company; Parkmobile, which offers end-to-end solutions for electronic parking; Zagster, which offers bike-sharing and bicycle rental solutions; Masabo; which generates mobile ticketing, validation, and data solutions; and Synovia Solutions, which helps school districts better manage their fleets using GPS data.

Other Fontinalis executives include Chris Thomas (partner), Laura Petterle (CFO), Chris Cheever (partner), Franklin Weldon (analyst), Gabe Cunningham (analyst), and Chris Stallman (principal).