Built In Chicago Annual Report: VC Activity Up 449% in 2011

Maria Christopoulos Katris

Built In Chicago has spent the past year collecting and analyzing data on the Digital Technology startup community.  The below slides represent the first annual Digital Startup Report: a snapshot of both current, and historic startup launches, fundings and exits. We will continue publishing this data monthly, quarterly and annually.  If we inadvertently missed a company, or funding, please email [email protected] for inclusion in the next report.


Our definition of "digital" for purposes of collecting data, and publishing reports, is a company whose business is primarily web or mobile based.


#1: where available, we used the funding round close date as provided by the SEC.

#2: when funding source was not disclosed we categorized the funding as either "Undisclosed VC" or "Individual Investors" based on available data.

#3: we have included all funding, including PE, VC, Angel, Incubator and Friends & Family.


193 digital technology startups launched in 2011, 22 of which received funding.  This is a 97% increase in launches over 2010.

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The Total Dollars raised by Chicago digital technology companies was 393% higher than 2010 and 37% higher than the peak of 2000. Specifically, $1,453M was raised by 77 digital technology companies in 2011. This compares with 43 companies who raised $295M in 2010.

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While total dollars raised peaked in Q1 2011, the # of deals peaked in Q2 (38), followed by Q1 (24). Q3 and Q4 each saw 18 deals.

VC investment dollars increased 449% ($1,436M) over 2010 ($262M) while Angel investments increased 54% ($16.2M) over 2010 ($10.5M).

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In 2011, there were 16 exit events by Chicago digital technology companies. 1 Notable IPO (Groupon!) and 15 acquisitions. Since 2000,Chicago Digital Technology companies have had 26 exits >$100M.

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Gian Fulgoni
Very impressive stats! Congrats!
Liz Jellema

Can't tell you how many people I've referred to this report -- thanks again for all of your hard work compiling and presenting this data!

Jeff Cohn

I agree with all, this is great data and presented very well!

Matthew Summy

Amazing data and great work. Thanks

Maria Christopoulos Katris

Thank you Brian, John, Jim, George and Caity.  This project has been a team effort within the Built In Chicago team and the entire community who contributed their information and resources. We hope this helps you share the Chicago story and spread the word of great companies "Built In Chicago".

Brian Langham

Maria, Loved the Annual Report you put together. This shows how Chicago continues to be more and more of a major player in this market space.

John Hoesley

Thanks, Maria!  This is excellent data and confirms the momentum we're feeling.

Jim Skuros

Awesome! Love this community!

George Deeb

Nice work, Maria!  Very well done.

Caity Moran

This is awesome -- Thanks to the BuiltInChicago team for putting this together!

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