Chicago startups raised $150 million in October. Here are your top 5

by Sam Dewey
November 3, 2015

The weather may be cooling down, but in terms of funding and financing, Chicago’s tech scene is heating up. In October, the top five fundings raked in a respectable $136 million, helped in large part due to hefty turns from companies like SteelBrick, Uptake, and Insureon.

As the holidays begin to draw ever more near, let’s hope October’s momentum keeps going strong. In the meantime, check out the top five largest fundings for Chicago in October.


5. Inventables, $5 million, October 6

Investors: Corazon Capital, Draper Associates, Led by Greycroft with participation from True Ventures, and Dundee Capital.

Bio: Inventables’ main goal is to revolutionize digital manufacturing. The company produces 3D carving platforms like Carvey and XCarve 3D as well as a free, cloud-based software called Easel. 3D Carving can be used for producing anything from signs and woodworking to jewelry and art projects. Carving is compatible with a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic.

In the News: With Inventables’ campaign for Carvey, the company created one of Chicago’s most successful Kickstarters — bringing in more than $625,000.


4. Urban Till, $7 million, October 31

Bio: Founded in 2013, Urban Till is Chicago’s own urban, indoor farm that’s committed to providing “12 hour fresh” produce every day of the year.

In the News: As part of a Crain’s story on eating locally during winter, Urban Till founder Brock Leach said the idea wasn’t just about reducing waste between food and production, but cutting out the supply chain completely.  


3. Insureon, $31 million, October 21

Investors: Accretive, Oak HC/FT

Bio: Insureon is an online insurance agency for small businesses. The idea is to combine the speed and convenience of the web with the high-quality experience of in-person service. Launched in 2011, Insureon is one of the nation’s fastest growing private companies, with a three-year growth of over 1,700 percent, and has already helped insure more than 175,000 small businesses.

In the News: According to the Chicago Tribune, Insureon recently hired a new chief marketing officer in Andrei Utkin.


2. Uptake, $45 million Series A, October 28

Investors: New Enterprise Associates, GreatPoint Ventures, Caterpillar, Lightbank

Bio: Founded by serial entrepreneur Brad Keywell, Uptake is a predictive analytics company that provides software to help turn large amounts of data into actionable insights. With Uptake, businesses are empowered to make more data-driven decisions that ultimately drive optimization and performance.

In the News: Along with the recent round of funding, Uptake was welcomed into the exclusive billion-dollar startup club, according to The New York Times who spoke with someone close to the deal.


1. SteelBrick, $48 million Series C, October 13

Investors: Emergence Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Shasta Ventures

Bio: Based out of San Mateo, California but with significant presence out of its Highland Park office, SteelBrick helps its enterprise clients accelerate growth by providing a Quote-to-Cash product suite, which helps to automate quoting, contracting, and billing.

In the News: The round follows a busy year for the company, which raised $18 million Series B in February and announced the acquisition of London-base Invoice IT just last month.

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