Tech roundup: HighGround and OfficeLuv raise millions, Move Loot arrives in Chicago, and more

by Sam Dewey
March 24, 2016

HighGround raises $7.6M for its workplace transparency platform

HighGround, the Chicago-based maker of an employee engagement and development platform used by companies like Patagonia, Allianz and Cision, announced on Friday it closed a $7.6 million Series A round of funding. The round, which was led by Chicago’s KDWC and joined by existing investors including CNTP and Lightbank, followed a year of 300 percent growth for the company, which has raised $19 million to date. [Built In Chicago]


OfficeLuv sweeps up $3.8M in funding


announced the close of a $3.8 million Series A led by Chicago’s KDWC Ventures and KGC Capital, which were both joined by West Coast investors Formation 8 and 500 Startups. The office maintenance and cleaning company was one of the first unveiled by Paul Lee’s startup factory, Roniin. [Crain’s]


Move Loot heads to Chicago to help you get rid of your furniture

This week, San Francisco’s Move Loot — a company that helps people list various pieces of used furniture for sale — set up shop in Chicago, where it hopes to create a Midwestern home base. The company accepts listings from top tier retailers like West Elm, Crate & Barrel, and Pottery Barn, among others, and has already established a presence in eight markets total since it’s launch two years ago. [Chicago Tribune]


Managed by Q is giving stock options to employees on every level

At a press conference attended by U.S. Labor secretary Tom Perez, Managed by Q announced a new “Operator Stock Option Program” that will allow employees at all levels throughout the company to get equity in the company. “The Operator Stock Option Program provides real ownership in the company for the people working tirelessly to make it a reality,” said Managed by Q CEO Dan Teran in a statement. “Our mission at Q is to make the world work better, not just for our clients, but for everyone.” [Built In Chicago]


A new workout app is launching to help you find a lifting buddy

A new Chicago-based fitness app called Pillar Fitness is looking to find you an on-demand fitness partner. With a projected launch date of March 28, the app hopes to bring the on-demand model to workouts by allowing users to choose a fitness activity, drop a pin, and find nearby users to work out with. [Chicago Inno]


Another Chicago company just came out of Y Combinator

This week, the founders of TRAC — a running startup that makes automated, cloud-enabled timers for coaches and race managers — pitched their idea to hundreds of investors at Y Combinator’s Demo Day. Largely unknown, the startup was founded on a simple idea: running coaches waste too much time and energy on recording data that’s never put to effective use. [Built In Chicago]


Would you take a loan in exchange for a chunk of your future income?

Cumulus Funding announced a $6 million Series A led by Chicago’s Continental Investors LLC (who was joined by HC Technologies, D-W Investments, Bridge Investments and Service Provider Capital). The company offers what it calls “Income Share Agreements," lending anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000 to individuals short on cash. In addition to their Series A, Cumulus announced it had raised $25 million in debt financing. [Built In Chicago]


GreenKey introduces new voice quote capturing tool

This week, Chicago-based

, the maker of voice software for financial markets, announced the launch of a “voice quote capture” pilot program, a first-of-its-kind tool offered to enterprise customers of  Symphony Communication Services, LLC. [PRNewswire]


FourKites Hires Industry Veteran Dave Walker as the Chief Revenue Officer

FourKites, a leader in cloud-based supply chain solutions, this week announced the addition of Dave Walker as chief revenue officer. Walker has more than 25 years experience and was most recently a VP of sales at Trusteer. [Built In Chicago]


Centro gets in on political ad buying capabilities

This week,

The Chicago Loop is a great place to work, located in a central area of Chicago accessible to major public transportation, dining and shopping.
announced new capabilities for political ad-buyers to automate how — and who — political ads reach in terms of US voters. With Centro’s Brand Exchange, an invite-only marketplace for ads on various brand-safe journalistic sites, ad buyers can “target ‘Liberal’, ‘Conservative’, and Political Enthusiast’ audiences across curated local publishers.” [Read more here]


Have a tip for us or know of a company that deserves coverage? Shoot us an email or follow us on Twitter @BuiltInChicago.

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