Tech roundup: Nearly $50M in new fundings, Belly's expansion and more

by James Risley
September 22, 2016

More and more money flows into Chicago tech

Fundings were a major story this week, with three big rounds making headlines. Investments neared $50 million this week, and new cash flowed into everything from VR companies to used car tech makers.

 

Chicago’s on-demand talent firms consolidate with Shiftgig acquiring BookedOut

Chicago-based on-demand job marketplace Shiftgig has acquired experiential marketing platform BookedOut. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but 32 BookedOut employees are joining the Shiftgig team as it completes a pivot toward expanding its offerings, including on-demand experiential marketing. [Built In Chicago]

 

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Belly expands to major retailers 

Loyalty card system Belly is expanding from a small business focus to providing reward programs at major retailers like chain restaurants and department stores. One of its first big partners is foodservice provider Compass Group, which operates both restaurants and concession stands with over 45,000 locations in the U.S. [Chicago Tribune]

 

Dundee Venture Capital launches $20M fund focused on the Midwest

Omaha-based Dundee Venture Capital is looking to power up Midwest startups with a new $20 million fund. The firm is focusing its investments on early-stage and seed fundings of companies in the e-commerce, B2B SaaS and consumer network industries. Dundee also announced a new strategic partnership with Chicago’s Lakewest Venture Partners to help it better reach tech companies. [Built In Chicago]

 

MealPal launches in Chicago after name change

Food subscription service MealPass has rebranded as MealPal and expanded to Chicago. The New York-based company lets you get lunch from across the city for one monthly $119 payment. The company also introduced a “Tinder for food” option that recommends options based on your like or dislike of other dishes. [Chicago Inno]

 

NowSecure debuts mobile app security test automation system

Insecure apps are a major gateway for hackers looking to break into your phone, but it can be hard to know if your app is up to snuff. Mobile security firm NowSecure introduced an automated mobile app security testing solution called Lab Automated, which will let you know the security status of your app before you publish it to app stores. [Press release]

 

Via completes summer expansion plans

Ridesharing service Via nearly doubled its footprint this summer, expanding operations west as it looks to build momentum in the Chicago. The company already operates its “re-engineered public transit system” in Washington, D.C. and New York. [Press release]

 

Former Ycharts CEO Shawn Carpenter launches sales platform

Shawn Carpenter’s newest venture, RepIQ, is a platform designed to arm salespeople with the insights and tools they need to land a deal with a little more rhythm, and it just landed a seed deal with help from Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Hyde Park Angels, Amicus Capital Partners and Arba. The new service streamlines what was once as many as 15 different tools to make selling simpler and consolidate data so it’s easier to take in. [Built In Chicago]

 

Leadership teams expand

Three the executives are joining Chicago tech companies this week, with additions from both within and outside the tech community.

  • Cision hired Microsoft alum Sean O'Driscoll as chief strategy and insights officer. He will oversee a number of divisions at the company.
  • Cision also hired former S&P Global CIO Robert Coppola. He will take over the same position at Cision, managing both the company’s technology capabilities and security.  
  • Tom Bianculli is joining Zebra Technologies as its first chief technology officer. Bianculli most recently served as vice president of Zebra's Emerging Technology Office.

Images via featured companies

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