Chicago tech roundup: Public Good raises $1.6M, RedShelf grabs $2M, ContextMedia hiring 200 people and more

Written by Tessa McLean
Published on Feb. 01, 2015
Chicago tech roundup: Public Good raises $1.6M, RedShelf grabs $2M, ContextMedia hiring 200 people and more


ContextMedia adding 200 jobs in Chicago

ContextMedia CEO Rishi Shah announced this week that the company plans to hire 200 people in Chicago this year including positions across all functional areas and skill levels. ContextMedia also expects to add 400 additional jobs in Chicago next year as it continues to expand. The company, which moved into its current 33,000 square foot headquarters at in April, has already outgrown its space and will be looking to expand in 2015. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was also on hand to applaud the announcement and remind attendees of Chicago's importance as a tech hub.

Techstars Ventures raises $150M fund, propelling it into Series A investments

Boulder-based Techstars has closed a $150 million fund to foster the growth of its newest investment vehicle, Techstars Ventures 2014. The round, which marks the firm's third installment of financing, will allow it to invest in a network of companies at seed and Series A stages. This network includes startups emerging from its accelerator program, as well as companies founded and advised by Techstars alumni and mentors. [Built In Chicago]


WordPress & OpenTable founders, Hyde Park Angels invest in Public Good Software for $1.6M

Chicago-based Public Good Software has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from a list of star investors: Chicago’s Hyde Park Angels, Firestarter Fund, founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg, founder of OpenTable Chuck Templeton, and Mike Sands, CEO of Signal. New funding will be used to improve technology, develop new features and expand to other markets. [Built In Chicago]

RedShelf grabs $2M in Series A funding to dominate eTextbook market

Chicago-based RedShelf has raised a $2 million Series A round. The funding comes from the National Association of College Stores (NACS) and previous investors. The eTextbook distributor will use the new infusion of capital to improve the product, launch new features and pursue new relationships with publishers and educational institutions. [Built In Chicago]



Bolstr gets a boost with $1.7M

Chicago-based crowdfunding site Bolstr has raised $1.7 million. Investors include DRW Ventures, Merrick Ventures, Kapor Ventures, Montage Ventures and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Founded in 2011, Bolstr creates a marketplace for local business by selecting only the best and brightest through their own stringent process. Once selected, accredited investors have the opportunity to invest in these small companies and will earn healthy monthly returns based on revenue based payouts. Choosing only a select few Chicago businesses, Bolstr provides the opportunity for them to secure the capital they need in order to prosper, while providing investors an unique opportunity for great returns while seeing their favorite local business grow and succeed. [Chicago crowdfunding site Bolstr raises $1.7 million: Crain's]


McDonalds digital team joining tech hub River North

McDonald's will take over 12,000 square feet on the top floor of the office building at the corner of Orleans and Hubbard, moving its digital strategy team from Oak Brook next month. The digital team is expected to reach more than 200 employees this year. [McDonald's signs lease in River North: Crain's]


SpotHero making another move within River North

Parking app SpotHero is moving its headquarters again. This time they'll lease 7,200 square feet at 325 W. Huron St. beginning April 1. This is their third River North office. [SpotHero finds a headquarters space in River North: Chicago Real Estate Daily]
Kahoots wins big at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Open House
Kahoots, an 1871 company, was one of 7 midwest start-ups selected to pitch at Microsoft Ventures Accelerator Open House last week. Kahoots swept first place in all 3 People's Choice Awards: Best Pitch, Best Story, and Most Aligned to the Digital Work theme. The pitch was part of a country-wide search for the best start-ups to join Microsoft Ventures in Seattle for a four-month accelerator program. Kahoots is an intelligent address book, making sense out of our mess of contact on our mobile devices. Since Friday, they have received commitments for $200K of the $500K bridge round.

Strata Decision Technology acquired

Chicago-based Strata Decision Technology has been acquired by Florida-based Roper Industries. The company created cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions for healthcare systems. Financial terms were not disclosed. [Chicago-based healthcare software company Strata acquired by Roper Industries: Chicago Blue Sky]


4D Healthware updates platform 

4D Healthware, a platform that provides its users with individualized healthcare recommendations throughout the day, has partnered with Human API to incorporate data from more healthcare devices into its platform. For users, the partnership means that 4D Healthware’s platform can capture a more accurate, holistic view of their health, translating data from wearable devices, sensors and apps into actionable health recommendations.
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