Top Chicago Startups to Watch out for in 2019

YoStartups Team

The windy city has a number of excelling tech start-ups that have been in the spotlight for their funding rounds this year. The windy city has a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies, and some of the tech startups have shown a surge in investments making them some of the top Chicago startups to watch out for in 2019.

Chicago has more than 5,000 startups, out of which 119 startups participated in different funding activities in 2018. The city has a soaring tech sector growing by leaps and bounds as new and more investments flow in. Here are some of the top Chicago tech startups to watch out for 2019 based on the funds they received this year.

Here Are The Top Startups from Chicago to Watch out for in 2019

GrubHub

The startup tops the list of exciting Chicago startups for 2019. The simple yet highly useful food ordering app spread like wildfire since it was launched in 2004 by Matt Maloney, Michael Evans, and Mike Evans. The company introduced digital menus to the market and helped restaurants and eateries connect to diners across the city. The innovative food ordering app offers its services in over 1,500 locations in partnership with close 80,000 restaurants. There are more 14 million active users of the app that has changed the simple act of ordering food in a big way. GrubHub has made 12 acquisitions so far including Dashed, Tapingo, and  LevelUp. The company is growing at an unfathomable rate in all aspects and recently raised $200 million in post IPO equity. GrubHub reportedly saw a 75% increase in its profits owing to the rapidly increasing number of users.

Tempus

Tempus is a soaring Chicago based health tech unicorn company that reached a valuation of $2 billion within just three years of establishment. The startup was founded by Eric Lefkofsky, a serial entrepreneur who established Tempus to offer better treatment for cancer using its unique library of clinical and molecular data. The disruptive health tech startup began its journey in 2015 to revolutionise the way cancer is treated. It has raised $320 million so far and is one of the top Chicago startups to watch out for in 2019. The most recent round of funding, Series E, helped the company raise $110 million which will be directed for the company’s expansion in operations and for developing precision medicine for other indications.

Braviant Holdings

Braviant Holdings, a Chicago based fintech startup, was founded by Stephanie Klein and Matt Martorello in 2014. The company has raised $95 million so far, and its most recent funding activities include a common equity round from Loom Capital. The startup raised $5 million with the help of Loom Capital and an additional $2 million of equity from an existing investor. Keystone National Group, a private markets investment firm, has offered this leading Chicago based fintech startup a credit facility of $50 million to help it expand further. The expansion is mainly targeted for the development of Chorus Credit, lending platform by Braviant Holdings, making the parent company one of the growing Chicago startups to watch out for in 2019.

G2 Crowd

Tim Handorf, Matt Gorniak, Godard Abel, Mark Myers, and Mike Wheeler, entrepreneurs who led Oracle-acquired BigMachines to success, set up G2 Crowd in 2012.  G2 Crowd is a business software review platform that has been created to help companies make informed choices when buying software. Dubbed as the ‘Yelp for Business Software’, this Chicago based enterprise technology startup has raised $100 million so far. G2 Crowd ensures that reviews on their platform are all validated and authentic. The leading Chicago company warrants a place among the exciting startups to watch out for in 2019 with its recent Series C round of funding. Led by IVP, the funding round brought in investments worth $55 million. Accel and Emergence Capital also participated in the Series C round of financing for G2 Crowd.

Village MD

This is yet another Chicago based startup that banks on data-driven science to offer innovative products and services.  Village MD was set up in 2013 and has risen to the top raising $116 million as it grew. The company’s founders Clive Fields, Paul Martino, and Tim Barry came up with a primary care led model to create healthcare practices that are beneficial to both the providers and the patient. This unique approach that this data-driven health tech startup wants to introduce in the industry has helped in attracting handsome amounts investments. The company began 2018 with a bang with the completion of its Series C funding round which brought in $80 million through capital financing. Athyrium Capital Management led the round.

project44 

project44 is a young logistic tech startup that was established in 2014 by Wally Ibrahim and Jett McCandless. The company finds itself as one of the top Chicago startups to watch out for in 2019 with its most recent round of Series C. It raised $45 million in this round led by investor Sapphire Ventures. Other investors participating in Series C round included Pritzker Group Venture Capital,  8VC, Emergence Capital, OpenView Venture Capital, and Chicago Ventures. The Chicago based freight tech startup boasts of total funding of $90.5 million so far and is leveraging Chicago’s consistent status as a transport hub in the region. This makes project44 one of the top Boston startups to watch out for in 2019 for startup job seekers, entrepreneurs and investors alike.

PerkSpot

PerkSpot has maintained its place in the limelight with a private equity funding of $50 million from Susquehanna Growth Equity. The technology-based employee discount program aims to help its customers by offering exclusive discounts from its platform. PerkSpot achieves this by letting its customer companies integrating the unique platform with the existing rewards and recognition programs enabling credits that can be translated to gift cards for employees. PerkSpot’s client companies can successfully stretch the paycheck with the startup’s services. It was founded in 2006 by Brandon Smythe and Christopher Hill and is one of the fast-growing Chicago based startups to watch out for in 2019. The funds received this year are expected to be used in product development and hiring, to advance the startup’s product offering.

FourKites

This company is changing the way shipments arrive and how! FourKites was founded by Matt Elenjickal in 2014 and is one of the dynamic Chicago startups to watch out for in 2019. The startup can be described as a real-time supply chain visibility platform that can help with improving the time of delivery, increasing the efficiency of inventory management, managing the various teams better, and reducing the risks of product loss (by tracking the shipment’s temperature in real time). FourKites raised $35 million in Series B round funding led by August Capital in the first quarter of 2018 and had existing investors Hyde Park Ventures and Bain Capital Ventures also participating in it. This amount was raised for the expansion of its operations in India from where it also sources its research for the industry.

NextCapital

Founded in 1996 by Rob Foregger, John Patterson, Jon Hagen, and dirk Quayle, NextCapital is a Chicago fintech startup expected to turn heads in 2019 with their growth in the industry. The startup offers advice in the financial areas to help individuals and organizations plan their investments well. NextCapital raised $30 million in Series B round of funding in January 2018 led by Oak HC/FT. Existing investors Route 66 Ventures, Manulife Financial, Vermont Seed Capital Fund, and Transamerica Ventures also participated in this round.  The financial advisory startup has raised $52.3 in all and acquired the Business Logic Corporation in 2014.

Instana

Instana was founded by Pavlo Baron, Pete Abrams, Mirko Novakovic, and Fabian Lange in 2015 in response to the need for reliable Application Performance Management(APM) system in the market. The APM solution startup has raised $57 million in all till date. Its most recent funding activity was in September 2018 where it secured $30 million in a funding round that was led by Meritech Capital and features Accel, an existing investor who has previously invested $20 million in the company.  The APM system developed by Instana are designed to be compatible to be used in the areas of microservices, platform engineering, service development,  and application engineers.

 So these are the startups expected to make some noise in the coming year with their expansion and funding activities in Boston’s tech sectors. These companies are already some of highly funded Chicago based startups of 2018.

Read more about Chicago’s startup ecosystem here.

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