Tech roundup: Big funding rounds, SpotHero makes moves, and more

by Alton Zenon III
July 12, 2018
higi team all together
image via higi

higi gets $21.3M Series C

Healthtech startup higi recently landed a $21.3 million Series C round led by 7wireVentures and Flare Capital Partners. The company provides kiosks to grocery stores, pharmacies and club stores that allow the general public to track critical health data, including blood pressure and weight. The funding will be used to distribute more kiosks nationwide and increase data insights — and make you think twice about those frozen onion rings you were about to pick up. [Built In Chicago]


Journera's Chicago office
image via journera

Journera lands $9 million Series A, along with some huge partnerships

Journera, a digital platform that allows companies in the travel and hospitality industries to create efficient and seamless experiences for their customers, just raised a $9 million Series A funding round led by venture capital firm B Capital Group. Additionally, the company announced American Airlines, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, United Airlines and an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation signed on as the platform’s first major customers. [Built In Chicago]

ChefHero photos of multiple bright vegetables
image via chefhero

ChefHero starts cooking in Chicago

ChefHero, a company connecting wholesale food buyers to suppliers through a managed marketplace, just opened the doors to a new Chicago office. “As Chicago continues to build its name as a major culinary epicenter, ChefHero is a welcomed solution for hundreds of local restaurants and suppliers plagued by archaic paper trails and chasing down orders and billings,” said Dana Wright, managing director at Math Venture Partners, in a press release. Expect Chicago’s restaurant scene to get even fresher. [PR Newswire]


SpotHero parking garage
image via shutterstock

SpotHero’s ready for autonomous vehicles

SpotHero, a company that seeks to remove the existential horror of searching for parking by allowing users to book spots remotely, announced on Tuesday that more than 500 of its Chicago parking facilities are prepared to receive fully autonomous vehicles. The company equipped garages with license plate recognition technology, IoT sensors and other technologies that will allow self-driving cars to find, access and pay for parking without human intervention. [Built In Chicago]


Google webpage on laptop
image via shutterstock

Google Chicago has a new leader

Google’s Chicago branch opened its doors to Karen Sauder, who will take over the office as its senior executive. Sauder has been with Google since 2011, working most recently as vice president of sales, partnering closely with some of the company’s largest international customers across a wide array of industries. Sauder told Crain’s that she expects more roles to come to the Chicago office, adding to the more than 900 Windy City Googlers here already. [Crain’s]


HS2 team on a run
image via hs2

5 Chicago companies make new acquisitions 

HS2, a design, marketing and analytics firm, announced the acquisition of West Coast-based digital branding consultancy firm Infield Digital. HS2 intends to use Infield’s resources, staff and expertise to maintain its position as a leading Adobe Experience Cloud provider and deliver e-commerce environments more tailored to users’ specific needs. [Press release

Logistyx Technologies, a provider of cloud and analytics-based shipping software solutions scooped up Transparix, an SaaS company based in the Netherlands offering products designed to enhance transportation efficiency. Transparix, founded in 2001, has clientele that includes Footlocker, Office Depot and Bosch. Logistyx’s hopes to expand the European reach of its physical and digital parcel transportation management software platforms. [Press release]

Zebra Technologies, a manufacturer of tracking technology for industry and logistics just announced the purchase of Xplore Technologies. Xplore specializes in the development of things like highly durable tablets and 2-in-1 laptops. Anders Gustafsson, Zebra CEO, said in a press release that Xplore will help them expand their product lines to offer their customers a more robust series of tools to use in their everyday workflows. [Press release]

Ground transportation booking company BusBank has acquired New York startup Buster, which also specializes in making ground transportation for large groups easier to book. In a statement, the companies said the goal of the acquisition is to create a booking experience similar to that of purchasing a plane ticket or renting a car. “This market is demanding more technology, and we’re bringing it to them,” said Buster CEO Harald Kruse. [Press release]

VelocityEHS, a provider of cloud-based environment, health and safety software bought out Humantech, an SaaS company specializing in delivering ergonomics solutions to workplaces. Humantech’s services allow employers to efficiently train staff in addressing their onsite ergonomic issues. VelocityEHS intends to use the acquisition to scale the business and maintain a placement as a premier ergonomics software provider.  [Press release]


Vivid Seats office basketball court
image via vivid seats

Vivid Seats gets new CMO 

Rich Lesperance was announced as the new chief marketing officer at Vivid Seats, a secondary ticket marketplace for sports, theater and music events. Lesperance has over 25 years of marketing experience and will manage the company’s consumer engagement and brand experience branches. “Rich brings a rare combination of experience driving significant growth for both household-name brands and fast-growing startups,” said Jerry Bednyak, co-founder of Vivid Seats, in a press release. [Press release]


Future Finance cupcakes
image via future finance

Future Finance makes CEO promotion

Future Finance, a non-government provider of students loans, recently announced the promotion of Olga Dolchenko to CEO. Dolchenko will be tasked with expanding the company’s offerings past student loans and scaling the current businesses. That is some serious work ethic. [PR Newswire]


GoHealth team photo
image via gohealth

GoHealth brings home 2 wins, again

GoHealth, a healthcare marketplace that offers a streamlined approach to choosing medical care, was recently placed on the Medium Business list of Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by the National Association for Business Resources. Additionally, GoHealth earned a spot on Crain’s List of Chicago’s Largest Privately Held Companies. The company won both awards last year; can’t call that a fluke. [Press release]

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