Chicago's top 50 startups to watch: Where are they now?

July 30, 2015


Somehow, we’ve already trudged our collective way to the middle of the year. Since we have now officially crossed the halfway checkpoint, we thought now was as good a time as ever to pause and take a moment to reflect on how Chicago tech has been doing so far.

At the beginning of the year, we announced our top 50 startups to watch in 2015. All the startups on the list were less than five years old, and we’ve kept them on our radar as the year has progressed. Today, we’re looking back at those tech startups who have made the headlines.

So far, we’ve seen five product launches, five acquisitions, and 13 fundings (that add up to over $23 million) during the first half of the year alone. Here's some of the e're looking back at who has had news so far:

Product launches:

Charlie App launched both a new iOS app and a premium, paid version in June that sends users a detailed report (aggregated from Facebook, LinkedIn, and news articles) on the people you plan on meeting.

Civis Analytics launched its new data-science platform in July to help data scientists better utilize data, available on Amazon cloud.

Curiosity launched its first iOS app in June to help users discover five new things a day.

DRYV launched its services in Detroit and partnered with Huntington Cleaners, the largest dry cleaning service in the country.

Opternative officially launched its $40 online eye exams in 27 states across the country in July.

Funding in 2015:

Blitsy: $3.6 million Series A, May 7

GeoFeedia: $3 million Series A, March 5

Options Away: $3 million Series A, March 3

Packback: $1.5 million Seed, June 9

Public Good Software: $1.6 million Seed, January 28

RedShelf: $2 million Series A, January 27

Rentulations: $70,000 Seed, April 7

Reverb: $4.2 million Series B, January 6

Rivet News Radio: $1.9 million Venture, June 3

Schlep: $138,000 Debt Financing, January 28

Scout: $70,00 Debt Financing, March 30

TurboAppeal: $1.5 million Seed, May 13

UrbanBound: $860,000 Debt Financing, May 19


MU/DAI acquired Austin-based Deft Strategy in February and announced they will open an office in downtown Austin.

PrettyQuick was acquired by Groupon for an undisclosed amount in June and will continue to operate as a standalone brand.

Rocketmiles was acquired by Priceline in February for an undisclosed amount, and they recently announced their B2B services.

TurboAppeal acquired real estate tech company Realytics to expand B2B offerings.

WeDeliver was acquired by Deliv, a leading same-day delivery service based out of Silicon Valley.

Leadership changes:

LyteShot has added Digital entertainment executive Dick Wnuk as a senior advisor in July.

TurboAppeal announced the appointment of a new Chief Technology Officer, former Microsoft and CenturyLink executive Scott Beason.


FoxTrot partnered with Kitchfix in June in order to deliver locally sourced, fresh meals to hungry Chicagoans.

Mira partnered with Lumoid in July to make the first fashionable fitness device designed for women, available to buyers for a two week trial period.


Want to take a look at the original list?

Have a tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Email us via [email protected].

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