Learn about the latest tech innovations, partnerships and deals in the works in the Windy City. This is the Built In Chicago weekly refresh.
Sphera to be acquired by Blackstone. Specializing in environmental, social and governance (ESG) software and data and consulting services, Sphera is set to be acquired from Genstar Capital in a transaction worth $1.4 billion. Sphera’s tech helps companies measure and manage their ESG-related performance and risk exposure. Blackstone is looking to leverage Sphera’s tech to bolster its ESG credentials. [Reuters]
First Women’s Bank got Illinois banking charter, raised $30M. The Chicago-based bank is women-owned, caters to the needs of women-owned small businesses, and just received the first Illinois banking charter granted in more than a decade. Its investors include tennis icon Billie Jean King. The bank will operate from 1308 N. Elston Ave. with an opening slated for the fall. As Built In previously reported, it is set to be the first bank built by women, for women in Chicago. [Chicago Tribune]
Chicago Tech Quote of the Week
Grubhub partnered with Yandex. By adding the Russian tech company’s autonomous rovers to its food delivery platform, Grubhub is working to provide cheap and accessible foods to college campuses across the country. Yandex’s machines can maneuver around pedestrians and crosswalks and can carry up to 40 pounds of food. Once it reaches the recipient, the user unlocks the rover’s hatch via the Grubhub app. [Built In Chicago]
ShipBob launches in Australia. Working to help e-commerce SMBs thrive in today’s bustling online economy, ShipBob has expanded its presence into Melbourne with a new fulfillment center. The cloud-based logistics platform has also teamed up with Australia Post to ensure discounted shipping rates and expedited delivery times for its customers. The company recently raised $200 million in fresh funding and became Chicago’s newest tech unicorn. [PR Newswire]