Uptake ropes in $45M new round to become Chicago's newest unicorn

Sam Dewey

Uptake, one of Chicago's fasted-growing companies, announced on Tuesday that the startup has raised a $45 million round of financing. The new round has pushed the data analytics software provider past the billion-dollar valuation line, according to the New York Times, who spoke with someone familiar with the terms of the transaction.

Startups with such valuations have been popularly dubbed unicorns. While unicorns are a bit less rare on either coast, Uptake joins just two other Chicagoland companies — Avant and Mu Sigma — who’ve managed to breach that threshold.

Uptake's current valuation reportedly sits at $1.1 billion.

The round was led by by GreatPoint Ventures and several returning investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Lightbank, and Caterpillar.

Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, celebrated serial entrepreneurs behind many of Chicago's biggest success stories (read: Groupon, Echo Global Logistics, InnerWorkings, Mediaocean), unveiled Uptake just this March. The company, which launched in 2014, operated in stealth until that point.

In addition to the company’s funding announcement, Uptake also announced the addition of Hewlett-Packard director Raymond Lane to the company’s board.

“There’s been a great deal of momentum and progress that we’ve achieved in a short period of time,” Keywell told the New York Times. “The expanded opportunities that have come based upon what we’ve built, in essence, have proven that the opportunity is quite extraordinary — having the opportunity for Ray Lane to join the board and bring in meaningful capital.”

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