Built In Chicago Annual Report: VC Activity Up 449% in 2011

January 24, 2012

Built In Chicago has spent the past year collecting and analyzing data on the Digital Technology startup community.  The below slides represent the first annual Digital Startup Report: a snapshot of both current, and historic startup launches, fundings and exits. We will continue publishing this data monthly, quarterly and annually.  If we inadvertently missed a company, or funding, please email [email protected] for inclusion in the next report.


Our definition of "digital" for purposes of collecting data, and publishing reports, is a company whose business is primarily web or mobile based.


#1: where available, we used the funding round close date as provided by the SEC.

#2: when funding source was not disclosed we categorized the funding as either "Undisclosed VC" or "Individual Investors" based on available data.

#3: we have included all funding, including PE, VC, Angel, Incubator and Friends & Family.


193 digital technology startups launched in 2011, 22 of which received funding.  This is a 97% increase in launches over 2010.



The Total Dollars raised by Chicago digital technology companies was 393% higher than 2010 and 37% higher than the peak of 2000. Specifically, $1,453M was raised by 77 digital technology companies in 2011. This compares with 43 companies who raised $295M in 2010.



While total dollars raised peaked in Q1 2011, the # of deals peaked in Q2 (38), followed by Q1 (24). Q3 and Q4 each saw 18 deals.

VC investment dollars increased 449% ($1,436M) over 2010 ($262M) while Angel investments increased 54% ($16.2M) over 2010 ($10.5M).



In 2011, there were 16 exit events by Chicago digital technology companies. 1 Notable IPO (Groupon!) and 15 acquisitions. Since 2000,Chicago Digital Technology companies have had 26 exits >$100M.