Meet Chicago’s Top 100 tech companies: Employee count up 15 percent in 2017

October 24, 2017

Chicago’s tech sector keeps on climbing.

Chicago’s 100 biggest digital tech companies alone employ nearly 48,000 people, up from 41,000 in 2016. That number was bolstered by growth from pillar tech companies and up-and-comers alike.

Chicago’s biggest tech companies continue to grow

The number of people employed by Chicago’s biggest tech companies rose 15 percent between 2016 and 2017. That figure hews closely to last year’s report, which found a year-over-year growth rate of 17 percent.

Competition to make the Top 100 list tightened, with Vibes, Yello and Vail Systems tied for 100th place, reporting 140 employees each. That employee threshold is up significantly from 2016, when the 100th company reported 112 employees.

A number of fast-growing startups, including Tempus, G2 Crowd and ShipBob, landed just shy of this year’s Top 100 with robust headcounts that would have handily landed them on last year’s list. 

Growth driven by locals and satellites alike

Several companies reported headcount growth in the hundreds, including homegrown companies like Relativity and Uptake as well as out-of-towners like Salesforce and Uber. Relativity, which rebranded from kCura earlier this year, rose eight spots from last year’s ranking — reporting 225 more jobs in the process. Salesforce tacked on nearly 250 employees to break into our top 10 with an even 1,000 headcount, while Uber doubled its local roster to 600.

Uptake climbed five spots with 200 additional employees, and shares the 17th spot with Yelp and CCC Information Services. In addition to being one of the city’s largest tech employers, Uptake has the notable distinction of being one of its youngest, having only been founded in 2014.

Young companies help fuel the ecosystem’s growth

Eight percent of this year’s top 100 companies were founded in 2012 or later. Top 100 startups founded within the past five years employ a total of 2,501 people in Chicago. Moreover, a quarter of the companies on the list were founded in the past decade.

 

 

Rank: 1 | Employees: 2209 | Founded: 1928 | Communication

 

 

 

Rank: 2 | Employees: 1400* | Founded: 2005 | Logistics

 

 

 

Rank: 3 | Employees: 2000 | Founded: 2008 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 4 | Employees: 1478 | Founded: 1984 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 5 | Employees: 1350 | Founded: 2000 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 6 | Employees: 1195 | Founded: 1998 | Web

 

 

 

Rank: 7 | Employees: 1176 | Founded: 2004 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 8 | Employees: 1157 | Founded: 1985 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 9 | Employees: 1150 | Founded: 2006 | Logistics

 

 

 

Rank: 10 | Employees: 1000 | Founded: 1999 | Cloud computing

 

 

 

Rank: 11 | Employees: 900 | Founded: 1999 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 12 | Employees: 864 | Founded: 2006 | Communication

 

 

 

Rank: 13 | Employees: 854 | Founded: 2004 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 14 | Employees: 850 | Founded: 1989 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 14 | Employees: 1201* | Founded: 1998 | Recruitment

 

 

 

Rank: 16 | Employees: 823 | Founded: 2009 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 17 | Employees: 800 | Founded: 1980 | Automotive

 

 

 

Rank: 17 | Employees: 800 | Founded: 2014 | Data analytics

 

 

 

Rank: 17 | Employees: 800 | Founded: 2004 | Consumer web

 

 

 

Rank: 20 | Employees: 750 | Founded: 2001 | Legal tech

 

 

 

Rank: 21 | Employees: 740 | Founded: 2000 | HR

 

 

 

Rank: 22 | Employees: 700 | Founded: 1998 | Automotive

 

 

 

Rank: 23 | Employees: 696 | Founded: 1969 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 24 | Employees: 690 | Founded: 1998 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 25 | Employees: 660 | Founded: 1997 | HR

 

 

 

Rank: 26 | Employees: 632 | Founded: 1999 | B2B

 

 

 

Rank: 27 | Employees: 600 | Founded: 2006 | Healthcare

 

 

 

Rank: 27 | Employees: 600 | Founded: 2009 | Transportation

 

 

 

Rank: 29 | Employees: 560 | Founded: 1998 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 30 | Employees: 541 | Founded: 2001 | Healthcare

 

 

 

Rank: 31 | Employees: 532 | Founded: 1998 | Recruiting

 

 

 

Rank: 32 | Employees: 526 | Founded: 2003 | Recruiting

 

 

 

Rank: 33 | Employees: 507 | Founded: 1981 | Supply chain

 

 

 

Rank: 34 | Employees: 500 | Founded: 2001 | Consumer

 

 

Photo by Tom Harris

 

Rank: 34 | Employees: 500 | Founded: 1995 | Cybersecurity

 

 

 

Rank: 34 | Employees: 500 | Founded: 1980 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 37 | Employees: 475 | Founded: 1992 | Trading

 

 

 

Rank: 38 | Employees: 450 | Founded: 1980 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 38 | Employees: 450 | Founded: 1835 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 38 | Employees: 450 | Founded: 2012 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 41 | Employees: 425 | Founded: 1990 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 42 | Employees: 400 | Founded: 2007 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 43 | Employees: 392 | Founded: 2001 | HR

 

 

 

Rank: 44 | Employees: 387 | Founded: 2013 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 45 | Employees: 380 | Founded: 1978 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 46 | Employees: 349 | Founded: 2010 | Social media

 

 

 

Rank: 47 | Employees: 320 | Founded: 1981 | Data analytics

 

 

 

Rank: 48 | Employees: 303 | Founded: 2001 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 49 | Employees: 292 | Founded: 1982 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 50 | Employees: 283 | Founded: 1998 | Cloud computing

 

 

 

Rank: 51 | Employees: 280 | Founded: 1996 | B2B

 

 

 

Rank: 52 | Employees: 275 | Founded: 1982 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 53 | Employees: 252 | Founded: 1994 | Trading tech

 

 

 

Rank: 54 | Employees: 248 | Founded: 2008 | Consulting

 

 

 

Rank: 55 | Employees: 247 | Founded: 2001 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 56 | Employees: 243 | Founded: 2001 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 57 | Employees: 235 | Founded: 1994 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 58 | Employees: 231 | Founded: 2004 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 59 | Employees: 230 | Founded: 1996 | Healthcare

 

 

 

Rank: 60 | Employees: 225 | Founded: 1996 | Web

 

 

 

Rank: 61 | Employees: 220 | Founded: 2012 | Automotive

 

 

 

Rank: 61 | Employees: 220 | Founded: 1989 | Trading

 

 

 

Rank: 63 | Employees: 216 | Founded: 2000 | HR

 

 

 

Rank: 64 | Employees: 215 | Founded: 1993 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 65 | Employees: 207 | Founded: 2011 | Automotive

 

 

 

Rank: 66 | Employees: 205 | Founded: 2002 | Trading

 

 

 

Rank: 66 | Employees: 205 | Founded: 1980 | Consulting

 

 

 

Rank: 68 | Employees: 200 | Founded: 1994 | E-commerce / cloud

 

 

 

Rank: 68 | Employees: 200 | Founded: 2005 | HR

 

 

 

Rank: 68 | Employees: 200 | Founded: 1973 | Consulting

 

 

 

Rank: 71 | Employees: 198 | Founded: 2007 | Consulting

 

 

 

Rank: 72 | Employees: 195 | Founded: 2008 | Consulting

 

 

 

Rank: 72 | Employees: 195 | Founded: 1995 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 74 | Employees: 194 | Founded: 1996 | Data analytics

 

 

 

Rank: 74 | Employees: 194 | Founded: 1997 | Trading

 

 

 

Rank: 76 | Employees: 189 | Founded: 1999 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 77 | Employees: 185 | Founded: 2013 | Consumer

 

 

 

Rank: 78 | Employees: 180 | Founded: 2007 | HR

 

 

 

Rank: 78 | Employees: 180 | Founded: 2003 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 78 | Employees: 180 | Founded: 2010 | Fintech

 

 

 

Rank: 81 | Employees: 178 | Founded: 1997 | Insurance

 

 

 

Rank: 82 | Employees: 175 | Founded: 1996 | Data analytics

 

 

 

Rank: 83 | Employees: 171 | Founded: 2011 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 84 | Employees: 170 | Founded: 2011 | Automotive

 

 

 

Rank: 84 | Employees: 170 | Founded: 2015 | Software

 

 

 

Rank: 84 | Employees: 170 | Founded: 1768 | Web

 

 

 

Rank: 87 | Employees: 166 | Founded: 1993 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 88 | Employees: 165 | Founded: 2003 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 89 | Employees: 161 | Founded: 1995 | Data analytics

 

 

 

Rank: 90 | Employees: 160 | Founded: 2005 | Contract management

 

 

 

Rank: 91 | Employees: 158 | Founded: 2006 | Consumer engagement

 

 

 

Rank: 92 | Employees: 150 | Founded: 1999 | Sales enablement

 

 

 

Rank: 92 | Employees: 150 | Founded: 2002 | Healthcare

 

 

 

Rank: 92 | Employees: 150 | Founded: 2010 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 95 | Employees: 148 | Founded: 2014 | Healthcare

 

 

 

Rank: 96 | Employees: 145 | Founded: 2006 | Automotive

 

 

 

Rank: 97 | Employees: 144 | Founded: 2011 | Trading

 

 

 

Rank: 98 | Employees: 141 | Founded: 2009 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 98 | Employees: 141 | Founded: 2013 | E-commerce

 

 

 

Rank: 100 | Employees: 140 | Founded: 1998 | Marketing

 

 

 

Rank: 100 | Employees: 140 | Founded: 2008 | Recruiting

 

 

 

Rank: 100 | Employees: 140 | Founded: 1991 | Communication

 

 

*Correction: CareerBuilder's employee count has been updated to 1,201, up from 850, which was the company's initial submission. Echo Global Logistics' local employee count has been updated to 1,400, down from 2,200, which was the company's original submission and reflects its total employee count across locations.

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Built In Chicago’s Top 100 is a ranking of the largest digital tech employers in the Chicagoland area based on local, full-time employee count as of September 1, 2017. This ranking is compiled by submissions to the Built In Chicago website and market survey as well as press releases, news coverage and other publicly available data.
 
To be eligible for inclusion, a company’s primary business and industry must be digital technology/innovation, including web and mobile applications, software, IoT, e-commerce, VR/AR and digital agency work. Employee numbers only include workers in Cook, Lake and DuPage counties and do not count part-time employees, interns, contractors or non-W2 workers. Both private and public companies have been surveyed.
 
Some companies that may have been eligible have been excluded because they have self-opted to not disclose headcount or have not supplied the required information requested in the survey.