Chicago startup fundraising appears to be going with the seasons. The city’s tech companies started summer off red hot and started to cool down as September approached. In August, Chicago tech pulled in $47 million in new investor funding, down from the $58 million raised in July. This bring's Chicago's total summer fundraising tally to almost $800 million.
The month’s funding total was anchored by Reverb.com’s $15 million round and further boosted by a $7.7 million Series A from Truss. Check out Chicago’s five biggest fundraising rounds of August below.
5. (Tie) HealthJoy, $3M, August 14
Investors: Chicago Ventures, Social Capital, Sidekick Fund, GoHealth
Bio: HealthJoy’s platform makes it easier for people to navigate their health plans. It's powered by an A.I. chatbot named Joy that can schedule a doctor’s appointment, provide information on wellness programs and even help negotiate medical bills.
News: HealthJoy CEO Justin Holland said its Series A round would go toward making the platform smarter and more comprehensive. HealthJoy also plans to hire for its sales and marketing teams.
5. (Tie) ExplORer Surgical, $3M, Aug 29
Investors: Aphelion Capital, UChicago Startup Investment Program
Bio: ExplORer Surgical helps surgeons better organize their operating rooms with customizable workflow software, letting them assign role-specific tasks to OR personnel. The platform also lets operating room managers track and compare the performance of different teams and monitor the use of disposable items to cut waste.
News: The startup will use part of its Series A round for hiring, mostly for its sales and business development teams. CEO Jennifer Fried did say a director-level position would also be filled. ExplORer Surgical also plans to increase the capabilities of its analytics.
4. Wise Apple, $3.6M, Aug 29
Investors: Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Levy Family Partners, Chicago Ventures, Greycroft Partners, BoxGroup, Irish Angels
Bio: Wise Apple is a student lunch subscription service. The company’s lunches are designed to be both healthy and appetizing. Nutritional information for each menu item is available on the Wise Apple site and the menu contains offerings for a variety of dietary restrictions, including gluten-free and nut-free selections.
News: Wise Apple plans to spread its seed (round) in Chicago and regionally. The startup will be expanding its Humboldt Park-based production operations, adding new jobs in the process. This will help fuel its push throughout the Midwest, an expansion that will run throughout the 2017 school year.
Bio: InContext Solutions provides cloud-based VR simulations of retail stores. These digital stores allow marketers to more rapidly test new in-store marketing strategies, from the location of displays to different types of packaging.
News: InContext Solutions recently announced that its flagship ShopperMX VR platform would be compatible with both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the first VR headsets the company has offered support for. The company offered no comment when asked about the round, which was filed through the SEC.
2. Truss, $7.7M, Aug 23
Investors: Navitas Capital, Park Angels, Hyde Park Venture Partners
Bio: Truss wants to do for small and medium-sized companies seeking office spaces what Zillow did for apartment hunters. Landlords can post offices directly to the platform, and all listings are accompanied by professional photography. Truss' chatbot, named Vera, can do everything from schedule tours to provide the fair market price of a location under consideration.
News: Chicago and Dallas are Truss’ only markets, but that is about to change. With this round, the startup plans to launch in other major cities in Texas before expanding to the East and West Coasts. Truss also announced a plan to incorporate 3D photography into its listings to make them more in-depth.
1. Reverb.com, $15M, Aug 15
Bio: Reverb.com is an online marketplace where musicians can buy and sell instruments and gear. In addition to selling instruments and equipment, the company also announced that it would soon launch a platform for selling records.
News: Reverb saw massive international user and sales growth last year, and this new round will be used to further its overseas expansion plans. This expansion will require some hiring, although no specific details were given by the company as to how many people will be brought on — and for what teams.
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