Tech roundup: Backstop Solutions raises $20M, multiple acquisitions, and more

by Alton Zenon III
November 1, 2018
Backstop Solutions funding
PHOTO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Backstop Solutions raises $20M

Backstop Solutions, a provider of cloud-based efficiency software for the institutional investment industry, raised $20 million in funding this week, with contributions coming from Vistara Capital Partners, veteran asset management investor Roger Kafker, former COO of Morningstar Tao Huang and President of Huizenga Capital Management David Bradley. The raise will be used to expand the company’s global client base. The news comes on the heels of four executive hires made this year. [PR Newswire]

 

ApartmentJet acquisition
PHOTO VIA APARTMENTJET

ApartmentJet now housed under Expedia’s roof

ApartmentJet, a company that helps property owners rent their available units out on short-term rental sites like Airbnb and HomeAway, was recently acquired by Expedia. The travel booking site also purchased Bay Area software startup Pillow in the same swoop. “Through the acquisition of these innovative companies, we gain technologically advanced solutions that will help us give travelers new options for great places to stay in popular destinations while benefiting residents, owners, managers and local tourism,” said Mark Okerstrom, president and CEO of Expedia Group, in a press release. [PR Newswire]

 

ShopRunner acquisition
PHOTO VIA SHOPRUNNER

ShopRunner acquires New York-based startup following recent funding

Fresh off this month’s massive funding round, ShopRunner announced late last week that it has acquired another e-commerce startup. Spring, which is headquartered in New York City, lets consumers browse fashion items from a range of different brands and check out using a single mobile cart. In a press release, ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan said the acquisition will help his company expand its network of clients and customers, and enhance its expertise in mobile commerce. [PR Newswire

 

Illinois self-driving cars
PHOTO VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Illinois to launch self-driving car initiative

As a first step on the long road to self-driving cars, Illinois announced late last week that it is launching a new initiative to set parameters for testing of self-driving car technology. According to the Chicago Tribune, requirements for testing will include that a human driver sits in the car to override their robot chauffeur in case of emergencies. However, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn told the paper he believes autonomous vehicles will be important to bringing down traffic fatalities overall. [Chicago Tribune]

 

Friends toasting at dinner
image via shutterstock

Rooam announced winter launch date for Chicago market

Washington D.C.-based hospitality industry payments startup Rooam is launching in Chicago this winter. The company’s announcement follows its acquisition of Chicago’s Tally, a payment platform that keeps track of the user’s tab at participating eateries and imbiberies. After launch, Rooam will allow users to pay for food and drinks at select establishments using an app, rather than paying through a server or bartender. The company, spurred by a $2.1 million seed round in July 2017, aims to capitalize on the Windy City’s acclaimed restaurant and bar scene. [Press release]

 

Stan Chia has joined Vivid Seats as CEO. Chia brings a wealth of experience into his new role. He was most recently chief operating officer at Grubhub and has also spent time at Amazon and Cisco Systems. According to a press release, Vivid Seats co-founder and former CEO Eric Vassilatos will remain with the company as co-chairman of the board. [PR Newswire]

Jay Miller
SVP of Marketing

Jay Miller is the new SVP of marketing at Maropost. Miller joins the customer engagement technology company from LearnCore, which was acquired by Showpad earlier this summer. Miller is one of Maropost’s first big hires for its new Chicago office but will likely not be its last as the company looks to expand its operations in the city. [Maropost blog]

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