Chicago trader Don Wilson made his fortune swapping futures contracts, and he’s spreading that wealth to a slew of startups. A venture-capital unit backed by Wilson and his partners at Chicago-based DRW Holdings has invested in 23 young so-called fintech businesses, more than doubling their portfolio since 2015, even as they stay focused on building their trading business.

Investing in financial technology enterprises has exploded in recent years, with three times as much money flowing into that U.S. sector last year as in 2012. Wilson and his partners are part of the wave and have an advantage with their decades of experience in the financial markets, but they face expanding competition, too.

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