August wraps up with $21 million in tech fundings, and these 5 companies led the pack

by James Risley
September 1, 2016

The summer doldrums are upon us, and that applies to the funding world too. In August, Chicago tech cleared about $21.3 million in new funding, continuing a slowdown that started with last month’s $90 million total. This isn’t completely surprising, with money often slowing in the last month of summer as employees squeeze in vacations and companies ramp up for the holiday season.

But not to fret — Hyde Park Venture Partners just announced a $65 million fund that should spur some new rounds soon. And there was a diverse group of Chicago startups announcing sizable raises during August, including $4 million apiece for DevMynd and RedShelf. But just like last month, the healthcare industry brought in the biggest round, with Avia securing $7.2 million earlier in the month.


5. Ascent Technologies, $1.2M, Aug 26

Investors: Undisclosed

Bio: Ascent helps keep companies compliant with a cloud-based platform, aiming to decrease operational costs.

News: The new funding will help Ascent streamline its platform and grow its team with a few strategic hires. The company also added three new people to its board of directors, including retired Madison Dearborn partner Paul Wood and OptionsXpress founder Jim Gray. 


4. DevMynd Software, $4M, Aug. 17

Investors: Motorola Solutions Venture Capital

Bio: The software consulting firm helps companies strategize, design and engineer products.

News: The $4 million Series A came from one of DevMynd’s customers. The consulting firm helped Motorola’s team build next-generation communications tools for the public safety and industrial sectors before Motorola Solutions Venture Capital proposed an investment. The new funding will help the team grow from 26 to 40 over the next year. 


3. RedShelf, $4M, Aug. 25

Investors: Rick Patterson, National Association of College Stores

Bio: This edtech company is trying to cut out paper textbooks by partnering with university bookstores to offer digital replacements. The platform includes titles from more than 600 publishers and offers titles to students at a discount.

News: The Series B will enable the addition of more than a dozen new employees that will help improve its existing e-reader software and build new products. The funding also comes with a new board member, Coniston Capital’s Rick Patterson, who led the investment. RedShelf’s funding to date now stands at $7 million. 


2. Yello, $4.2M, Aug. 30

Investors: Argentum, First Analysis

Bio: Talent acquisition firm Yello uses technology to modernize the recruiting process for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike.

News: After more than doubling its headcount and growing revenue by 70 percent in the last year, this $4.2 million continuation of Yello’s October Series B should keep it on a similar trajectory. The funding will be used to strengthen engineering, sales and marketing efforts at the company.


1. Avia, $7.2M, Aug. 11

Investors: Froedtert, Rush University Medical Center, OSF Healthcare, Providence Health & Services, St. Luke's University Health Network, Jump Capital, and Jumpstart Ventures

Bio: This healthcare consulting firm helps providers adopt new technology, which can ease communication, improve care plans and bring down costs in the long run.

News: Avia currently works with 22 hospital systems, and the new funding will help them grow that number. That will be achieved in part by adding to the 36-person team. The latest round adds to a $6 million round from 2014. 

Images via Shutterstock, featured companies

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