Tech roundup: Frontline acquires Teachscape, Vivid Seats announces PE funding, & more

by Sam Dewey
January 14, 2016

Wellspring nabs a $6 million Series B

, a Chicago-based leader in technology scouting, announced a $6 million Series B round on Thursday morning led by Plymouth Ventures. The company previously raised a $5 million Series A in February of 2014. According to the company, funds will be used to scale sales and marketing efforts behind the company’s software platform. The round also saw participation from MK Capital, a returning investor. [Read more here]

Frontline Technologies acquires San Francisco's Teachscape

, a national leader in K-12 education software, this week announced they have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Teachscape, a San Francisco-based provider of professional development solutions for teachers and school administrators. Frontline is headquartered in Pennsylvania but maintains a large presence in Chicago. [Learn more here.]


Vivid Seats announces private equity funding

Located in the Loop near major transportation lines including Ogilvie and Union stations, as well as the Brown, Purple, Green, and Blue CTA lines
, one of Chicago’s last remaining bootstrapped tech giants, this week announced the company has raised an undisclosed round of private equity funding from new strategic partner, Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm specializing in tech businesses with offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Austin. [Built In Chicago]


ParkWhiz announced as partner in Ford’s new connected car app

This week, Chicago-based parking app

We’re in the West Loop, one block from Union Station and three blocks from Ogilvie. We’re easily accessible from the CTA and the Kennedy Expressway.
announced a partnership with Ford’s FordPass app. FordPass, which debuted this week at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, offers a suite of transportation services as part of a larger effort to streamline the way tech-savvy consumers get from Point A to Point B. As one of the two primary partners in the relationship, ParkWhiz helps drivers find and pay for parking in advance, overriding the parking pain point many urban drivers know all too well. [Built In Chicago]


Zero Percent to partner with Postmates to cut food waste and fight hunger

This week, 1871-based

, an online platform that helps restaurants and food vendors connect with Chicago's underprivileged population, has entered into a new strategic partnership with Postmates. Using Zero Percent’s new crowdfunding platform,, (which now benefits from Postmates’ API and delivery fleet), consumers can get discounts on deliveries while triggering a $5 donation to charity.


GiveForward founder Desiree Vargas Wrigley to launch new startup in February

Seasoned entrepreneur Desiree Vargas Wrigley this week unveiled her newest venture, Pearachute. Set to launch in mid-February, Pearachute is a monthly subscription service that helps parents find, book and reschedule classes and activities for their children. Packages include $99 per month for unlimited access to classes (with a three class per facility per month ceiling), while five classes a month will go for $79. [Built In Chicago].


JetSmarter lands its services in Chicago

JetSmarter, a Fort Lauderdale, Fl.-based private jet startup that’s backed by investors like Jay Z and the Saudi royal family, this week expanded its services to Chicago. Now, users willing to write an annual check for $9,000 can fly luxuriously (and privately) between New York and Chicago as part of their membership. [Chicago Tribune: JetSmarter brings app-based private charter service in Chicago]


Inventables reveals the winners of its 50 states contest

, a Chicago-based digital manufacturing innovator that provides 3D carving platforms like Carvey and XCarve 3D, this week announced the national winners of its 50 states contest. The contest was in response to an Obama initiative that asked people to increase access to 3D printing technologies in schools. Inventables took up the call, donating one of their flagship carving machines to one school in every state. [Built In Chicago]


The Uber for beauty appointments launches this week in Chicago

, an online platform that connects beauty service providers with nearby customers, launched this week in Chicago. The service lets you schedule massages, haircuts, barber appointments, nail care, and other beauty services at home or at your office on immediate notice. As of this writing, approximately 2,700 professional, licensed “artists” have registered to provide services through the app. [Built In Chicago]


higi raises $40M to improve digital health tracking

, a Chicago-based startup, announced this week it has raised $40 million to improve its digital wellness platform. The company helps customers track and improve their health through a network of automated health stations that capture vital health statistics. Stations measure weight, BMI, blood pressure, and pulse. The higi app also connects with a number of other fitness apps, generating an activity score that indicates progress toward fitness goals. [Built In Chicago]


Eastman Egg Company releases first ever mobile app

Eastman Egg Company, a breakfast, lunch and coffee shop in the Loop, recently released its first mobile app through the iTunes store. With the app, users can pre-order their breakfasts, allowing them to skip in-store lines during busy morning rush hours. In addition to the preordering, the app also uses iBeacon technology that alerts restaurant workers when to prepare and package your meal. [Learn more here].

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

Chicago startup guides

Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
Women in Chicago Tech