After kicking the month off with a two-week funding drought, Chicago startups ended up raising $66.6 million in November, down from October’s $88 million total.
This month's funding events include a few atypical ones, including two rounds from startups still in stealth. We also included a $17 million funding for Professional Diversity Network in our total, but didn’t include it in the top five rounds because the money came from issuing publicly traded stock instead of traditional fundraising.
This month’s funding should have a big impact on hiring in Chicago. Two of the top five funding rounds are being used to double company headcounts over the next year. Read on for more details.
4. VISANOW, $5M, Nov. 15
Investors: General Catalyst Partners
Bio: VISANOW helps companies secure foreign talent with tools to guide them through the visa and immigration process.
News: The fresh funding came on the heels of the election and will help VISANOW navigate the future of legal immigration in the U.S. at a time when the upcoming policy is unclear. For sole investor General Catalyst Partners, this is the third time providing funding for the company, including a $16 million round in 2014.
2. itemMaster, $7.5M, Nov. 22
Investors: Edison Partners, Chicago Ventures
Bio: itemMaster makes sure brands always have up-to-date brand assets to be used online and in stores. The company hosts assets for more than 5,000 brands.
News: The $7.5 Series A will be used to increase hiring, in part by enabling a move from their Skokie offices to a larger headquarters in downtown Chicago. The company will be moving out of its incubation space under Peapod's roof.
1. Civis Analytics, $22M, Nov. 30
Investors: Drive Capital, Verizon Ventures, WPP, Eric Schmidt
Bio: Born out of Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, Civis Analytics uses cloud-based big data tools to make data science simpler.
News: Civis plans to hire across the board with this funding round. Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google parent Alphabet Inc., returned for this funding round. He provided the initial seed funds for Civis after the 2012 election.
5. KnowledgeHound, $2.7M, Nov. 17
Investors: Seyen Capital Senior Managing Director George Spencer, Gaspar Group, InvestHER and BRJ Ventures
Bio: KnowledgeHound helps companies dig into the data they already have, helping them fully utilize market research spending.
News: The Series A round will help the company double its 11-person team over the next 12 months. By expanding the team, KnowledgeHound will be able to develop stronger tools that surface unique insights in more complicated data.
3. Dais Technology, $5M, Nov. 18
Investors: Not disclosed
Bio: Dais is a startup in stealth mode, but is based in Chicago according to their filing.
News: While we don’t know much about this funding, it is a significant amount. The company will likely come out of stealth in the near future, but for now things are a bit of a mystery.
Images via featured companies