Sphera Acquired, Grubhub’s Delivery Bots, and More Chicago Tech News

July 12, 2021
Sphera / Facebook
photo: Sphera / Facebook

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 BlackstoneSpecializing 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

“This partnership disrupts the status quo when it comes to how students dine on college campuses. It is also scalable, which has always been an attractive component to us as we think about how we can quickly and efficiently bring this delivery to our campus partners across the country. With Yandex, we’re excited about the opportunity to marry its robust technology solution with Grubhub’s to better serve colleges and universities across the country.” —Sean Ir, director of strategic partnerships at Grubhub

Grubhub partnered with YandexBy 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 AustraliaWorking 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]

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