What a day for Chicago tech.
Today, Forbes released their annual list of the year’s hottest startups. This year, a stealthy Chicago startup beat out the ultimate Who’s Who of tech notables — including Slack, Uber, WeWork, DraftKings, and ClassPass — to land at Forbes’ number one spot., a reclusive data analytics startup whose software mines data for insights for big machines industries like aviation, construction, and rail, only launched in 2014. It’s been gaining attention in the city ever since (and took home our Moxie Award for Best New Startup in June). But the startup didn’t really land on anyone’s radar nationally until it burst onto the scene with a $45 million round of fundraising this October (enough to trigger a $1 billion valuation).
“Going forward in years and decades to come, the revenue that comes off of insight will rival other macro categories like parts and service,” Uptake CEO Keywell told Forbes. “Granted, we are early, but I’m looking over the horizon and seeing insight as a major value driver. So we are partnering with companies who want to be part of the solution and not disrupted by it. It’s challenging for the biggest companies to innovate at the speed of an entrepreneurial organization.”
Keywell is, of course, one of Chicago’s most well-known serial entrepreneurs, responsible for other Chicago tech companies like Groupon, Mediaocean, and Echo Global Logistics.
Uptake works with companies like Caterpillar, the Peoria, Il.-based machinery and engine manufacturer, to provide Internet of Things-driven solutions and insights they don’t have the in-house manpower to do for themselves.
Uptake was joined by Chicago’s online marketplace for used and unwanted gift cards,, who nabbed the 22 spot on Forbes’ list. Raise is likely poised to join Uptake (and its fellow Chicago unicorns , , and ) as a billion-dollar tech company in the foreseeable future.
Photos via Uptake.
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