Tech roundup: Yello's funding round, League chooses Chicago for U.S. headquarters and more

by Andreas Rekdal
June 22, 2017

Yello raises $31M Series C

Yello, a Chicago-based recruiting software provider, announced on Wednesday that it has raised a $31 million Series C round of funding to accelerate growth. JMI Equity led the round, in which existing investor First Analysis also participated. The deal brings Yello's total funding to more than $45 million. [Built In Chicago]


League picks Chicago for U.S. headquarters

League, a Toronto-based startup that lets companies provide flexible health benefits to their employees, announced on Tuesday that it has opened a U.S. office in Chicago. League's app gives employees a one-stop shop for everything from traditional health coverage to gym memberships and massages. The company currently has 10 employees in Chicago, but it plans to reach 35 by the end of the year. [Chicago Tribune]


Pokémon Go Fest sells out in minutes

If you thought Pokémon Go was over, think again. When tickets went live for Pokémon Go Fest in Grant Park on Monday, fans caught ‘em all within minutes. Some reported the $20 tickets being resold on eBay for as much as $400. A celebration of the mobile game’s one-year anniversary, the festival is an opportunity to catch rare Pokémon, work alongside other attendees to win rewards and receive exclusive in-game items. [Chicago Tribune]


After doubling in size, NowSecure brings on a new CEO

NowSecure, a Chicago-based provider of mobile app security services, announced on Tuesday that it has hired Alan Snyder as its new CEO. The company, which doubled in size last year, said Snyder’s primary focus will be on continuing to accelerate the company’s growth. Founder and former CEO Andrew Hoog is staying on with the company to focus on product innovation, sales and strategy. [PRWeb]


Chicago beats other tech hubs in exits, report finds

On Thursday, Hyde Park Angels released a new report comparing startup activity in the Midwest to that of other technology hubs. Chicago leads other cities in "10x" exits with a whopping 45 percent of Chicago exits providing a tenfold return to investors. In comparison, the same number for Los Angeles, the Bay Area and New York were 29 percent, 25 percent and 22 percent, respectively. The ecosystem's total amount of money raised through exits over the past five years also beat that of Seattle, Boston and LA, while virtually tying New York’s. [Hyde Park Angels]


Golf tech startup lands $4M in funding

Fore! Digital Golf Technologies, which provides golf courses with technology that lets players cash in on their hole-in-ones, announced on Tuesday that it has landed $4 million in funding. Founded by Redbox veteran Gregg Kaplan, the startup installs tracking technology and cameras on par 3 holes, capturing video of golfers in their moment of glory (while presumably also keeping them honest). [Chicago Inno]


San Francisco startup gets in on Chicago’s on-demand laundry market

Chicagoans with better things to do than laundry just got another on-demand startup to choose from. San Francisco’s Rinse, which just raised a $14 million Series B round, announced on Wednesday that it is expanding to Chicago. The company joins a crowded marketplace with competitors including Dryv, Starchup and Procter & Gamble’s Tide Spin. But CEO Ajay Prakash told the Chicago Tribune that cleaning up in the marketplace will come down to competing against at-home laundry, rather than other on-demand outfits. [Chicago Tribune]


Echo Global Logistics veteran joins project44

Chicago logistics technology provider project44 announced on Wednesday that it has hired a new chief strategy officer: former Echo Global Logistics SVP Mike Reed. The startup said Reed will be charged with leading its expansion efforts into new verticals like truckload, intermodal and rail. [Press release]


Coming off strong year, Vibes is expanding its leadership team

Vibes, which provides mobile marketing tools for the enterprise market, announced on Thursday that it has appointed Sophie Vu as its chief marketing officer. The company also appointed Bill Scott as senior VP, international. The announcements come on the tail end of a big year for Vibes: it expanded into the U.K. market, acquired a competitor, raised $45 million in funding and ran a free burrito campaign for Chipotle with 3.5 million redemptions — all within the past 12 months. [Press release]


Target Data moves into new Chicago HQ

Earlier this week, Target Data moved into new corporate headquarters in downtown Chicago. The data-driven marketing firm, which has seen tremendous growth over the past two years, said the new headquarters will house the majority of its full-time employees. [Blog post]


Grainger kicks off new e-commerce initiative

Industrial supply titan Grainger just launched a new site for contractors who need supplies quickly. is built around a new search engine designed to help people find their supplies more quickly, and that offers smart suggestions about related items. Shipments are fulfilled by Grainger within one business day. [Electrical Marketing]


Shiftgig has a new CTO

Early this week, Shiftgig announced that it has hired Rick Bowman as chief technology officer. Formerly chief software officer at Morningstar, Bowman will lead technology strategy, operations and management for the on-demand shift marketplace. Bowman has also served in technology leadership roles at HelloWallet and Deloitte Consulting. [Press release]


Images via listed companies, social media and Shutterstock.

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