Where the money goes: 10 highest funded startup neighborhoods in Chicago

September 17, 2015

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Chicago’s tech scene has been flourishing in recent years. After the city’s most successful year ever in 2014, 2015 has only continued to pick up speed. This year, the city was heralded as one of the best tech ecosystems in the world, and according to a recent report, Chicago tech companies now employ almost 80,000 people.

To paint a fuller picture of Chicago’s tech scene, we aggregated 150 fundings from September 2014 to September 2015 and broke them down by zip code. In total, Chicagoland digital tech companies raised almost $1.5 billion in funding during that period, with investments scattered throughout a number of different tech hotspots in the city.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, River North emerged as the indisputable leader in terms of funding raised. Its 60654 zip code, which until 2008 was exclusively used for companies within the Merchandise Mart, raked in just under $750 million alone. Notably, $564 million of that sum can be credited to one startup alone: Chicago juggernaut Avant, a loan provider whose momentum has been all but unyielding since its launch in 2012.

The Loop’s 60606 area code also came in hot, with over $200 million in funding. Argon Credit, another consumer loan startup, brought in over $75 million dollars, with companies like Rightpoint, DialogTech, and VISANOW each landing major rounds of funding during the reported period.

Rounding out the top three zip codes by dollar amount was 60611 (Near North Side), an area that nabbed over $110 million in funding. Just two companies, SMS Assist and Livongo Health, shouldered $75 million of that total.

Just as the West Loop and its rehabilitated office spaces continue to increase in both popularity and demand, so too do the neighborhood's investments. Over the past year, West Loop tech companies (sitting in both the 60607 and 60661 area codes) saw over $115 million dollars in funding.

Meanwhile, funding for tech innovation in the suburbs edged out many of Cook County’s own zip codes. Leading the pack was Highland Park, whose G2 Crowd and Steelbrick have raised a combined $25 million in the past year alone. Close on the city’s trail are Itasca ($22 million), Evanston ($15 million), Aurora ($15 million), and Oak Park ($12.5 million).

Top 10 Chicago zip codes by funding

60654 (River North): $744,797,090

60606 (The Loop): $219,201,436

60611 (Near North Side): $113,170,000

60661 (West Loop): $92,195,000

60602 (The Loop): $89,360,000

60601 (The Loop): $41,760,000

60607 (West Loop): $24,380,000

60640 (Edgewater): $15,700,000

60642 (West Town): $8,813,000

60614 (Lincoln Park): $6,795,000

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