Even as Chicago’s summer weather seems to be heating up, the funding environment is showing signs of cooling down. During the month of May, Chicago digital tech companies raised a collective $52 million.
Here’s a roundup of the top five rounds that came in during the month.
5. Page Vault, $1.75 million, May 23
Investors: Irish Angels, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Wintrust Ventures, Ringleader Ventures, Foley Ventures, Golden Angels, Meridian Street Ventures
Bio: Page Vault’s software helps attorneys capture web content — from tweets and blog posts to corporate website copy — in a way that follows all required guidelines, rendering that evidence both defensible and legally admissible.
News: “Five months ago, when we'd go to conferences, no one had heard of us,” founder Jeff Eschbach told Crain’s Chicago Business in an interview after the announcement. “Now we're making good inroads with state bar associations in Illinois, New York, Texas and other states. We now have hundreds of customers.”
4. itemMaster, $4.4 million, May 17
Bio: itemMaster helps consumer brands clean up their “digital shelves.” With their platform, e-retailers can create, manage, distribute and optimize the content they sell on a virtual marketplace.
3. ShipBob, $4.6 million, May 27
Bio: ShipBob is reimagining what it looks like to send packages through the mail. With their mobile app, consumers need only take a picture of the item they want to send and say where and how they’d like it shipped. A ShipBob agent will then pick up the package from you and take care of the rest.
News: Earlier this year, ShipBob was named one of Built In Chicago’s 50 Startups to Watch — and they’ve still got our attention.
2. DRIVIN, $7.5 million, May 26
Investors: Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Lightbank
Bio: DRIVIN is winning the race to bring technology to the used-car industry. Their data-driven (pardon the pun) platform helps dealers source, ship and sell the vehicles they need most to thrive.
News: At the time of the announcement, DRIVIN (another of our 50 to Watch) said it plans to use the investment to fuel its expansion plans — which include launching new products and increasing its volume of dealer partners.
1. Wickr, $34 million, May 5
Bio: Founded in San Francisco but headquartered in Chicago, Wickr focuses on secure communications technology to encrypt private information and ward off cyber attacks.
News: In 2015, the free messaging app introduced a new arm of operations, a nonprofit called the Wickr Foundation that focuses on communication privacy.