Tech roundup: Chicago investors open up to KeyMe, ContextMedia recruits Matter veteran & more

Andreas Rekdal

ContextMedia recruits Patrick Flavin

Patrick Flavin, former executive director for partnerships at MATTER — the Merchandise Mart-based healthtech incubator — has joined Outcome HealthOutcome HealthVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert as director of industry strategy. Flavin will continue his relationship with MATTER in an advisory role. [Fast-growing ContextMedia plucks Patrick Flavin from Matter: Chicago Tribune]


Chicago investors open up to KeyMe

KeyMe, a New York startup that builds cloud-enabled key duplication kiosks just raised a $20 million series B round in which Chicago investors Ravin Gandhi and Michael Polsky partook. To date, Chicago only has six of the company’s signature kiosks, which create and store electronic copies of keys, allowing customers to duplicate keys when they most need them. [KeyMe digital kiosks get boost from Chicago investors, plans expansion: Chicago Tribune]


Univision buys controlling stake in The Onion for rumored $200M

This week, “America’s Finest News Source” sold a 40 percent, controlling stake in the company to Los Angeles-based Univision Communications, which owns the country’s largest broadcasting channel for Spanish speakers. According to the New York Times, who spoke with someone close to the deal, the deal reportedly wore a price tag close to $200 million. No joke. [Built In Chicago]


New program looks to empower greater diversity of entrepreneurs

On Tuesday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner unveiled a new program aimed at improving the current milieu for minority entrepreneurs across the state of Illinois. The initiative is part of an Executive Order to bring more folks of diverse background and perspectives to the table in business, technology, and the economy. The idea is to arm “high-potential” minority entrepreneurs with the resources and support they need to realize and grow their businesses and empower their contributions to tech and innovation. [Built In Chicago]


Narrative Science announces partnership with Qlik

Narrative ScienceNarrative ScienceVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert — a Chicago-based startup that uses AI to generate written language from data — announced a new partnership with Qlik on Tuesday. The extension will automatically generate text to accompany and explain charts and graphs generated by Qlik’s data visualization software. [Narrative Science Launches Narratives for Qlik: Yahoo! Finance]


Enova lands $107M securitization

Chicago fintech giant EnovaEnovaVisit their siteView company profile+ Create Job Alert announced it has finalized a $107 million securitization deal. The deal allows the company to combine outstanding loans into a pool that can be divided up and sold to investors to help fund future loans. [Enova Closes $107 Million Securitization Led by Jefferies: PRNewswire]


Product news this week

Ritual, an on-demand pickup app, launched in Chicago this week. The Toronto-based company's app helps bring the kind of convenience customers associate with major chains like Starbucks to independent cafés and restaurants.

Chicago launches OpenGrid app in push to make public records more accessible. Here’s how you use it.

Amazon launches Prime Now restaurant delivery service in Chicago, Uber works on standalone UberEATS app. Read our story about Amazon here. The Wall Street Journal had the scoop on Uber.

“The Keurig for food” rebranded as Tovala and launched a pre-order program. The business model no longer involves delivering food in pods, moving instead to fresh ingredients.

Chicago’s Sleep6 is diving head first into the online mattress game. The company is led by mattress industry veteran Robert Taglianetti, who says they’ll be competing on quality — not price.

Images via ContextMedia, KeyMe, The Onion, Wikimedia Commons, Narrative Science, Shutterstock.

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