Tech roundup: Belly's new iOS app, VelocityEHS moves into Merch Mart, & more

by Andreas Rekdal
December 17, 2015

Belly launches iOS app

— a customer loyalty program for local businesses — is launching a new iOS app today. The app will allow employees at Belly’s 12,000 participating merchants to run marketing campaigns and make adjustments to loyalty programs on the go.


Eved raises $14.3M, plans to double Chicago workforce

announced Wednesday it has raised $14.3 million in new funding to boost its sales and double its Chicago workforce. To support this growth, the event procurement company will be moving to a new office space at the beginning of next year. The funding round, comprised exclusively of Chicago-based investors, was led by Huizenga Capital Management, and joined by MK Capital, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and Merrick Ventures. [Built In Chicago]


Gogo to introduce cheaper in-flight WiFi for messaging apps

Last Thursday, in-flight WiFi provider

announced it will be introducing a $3 messaging pass for airline passengers who want to use apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and iMessage without paying for full WiFi service. The service will be available to passengers on most Gogo-equipped flights in the U.S. and Canada. [Gogo Introduces a New Way to Stay Connected In Flight with Messaging Pass: PR Newswire]


Morningstar CTO joins Uptake

We are located in River North just right off the Chicago Brown Line stop. We also provide you with a free shuttle service to/from Ogilvie and Union.
, a data analytics firm, hired former CTO Greg Goff. Goff will serve as Chief Product Officer at his newfound home. It will certainly be a wild ride: following a $45 million funding round in late October, Uptake became one of only three Chicago companies with a total valuation over $1 billion. [Uptake hires Morningstar CTO: Crain’s]


Fantasy Pizza is exactly what it sounds like

As the regular NFL season comes to a close, Chicago’s

is introducing a Fantasy Pizza app that gives players free pizza based on the occurrence of predetermined events during games. Pizza-awarding events are selected automatically, meaning your know-nothing friends have just as good a chance of winning as experts like yourself. [Fantasy Pizza App Will Send You Free Pizza Based On the Outcomes Of Live NFL Games: Chicago Inno]


UrbanBound takes silver in Best in Biz “Most Innovative”-category

Our office is located in the loop’s historic Franklin building—with easy access to CTA trains, Metra, endless lunch spots & Amazon Go in the lobby!
— a web-based platform for helping companies with relocation — won silver in Best in Biz Awards’ “Most Innovative Company of the Year” category for small businesses. Judges in the competition hailed from publications like Wired and Bloomberg Businessweek, and former winners include PayPal, Citrix, and American Express.


VelocityEHS leases 90k square feet in Merch Mart

Chicago-based environmental, health, and safety solutions provider VelocityEHS announced on Wednesday it has leased 90,000 square feet on the top floor of Merchandise Mart to serve as its new Global headquarters. The company, which currently has over 300 employees, is subleasing the space from Motorola Mobility.


Avant plans to add 600 new employees in 2016

Located on Chicago's scenic Riverwalk. It’s home to nearby trendy restaurants, a thriving startup community, and public transportation.
, a Chicago-based online lender has opted to add an additional 40,000 square feet to the 80,000 square-foot lease they signed back in June for their new headquarters at 222 N. Lasalle St. The expansion will help house the 600 new employees Avant projects to hire in the new year. Those 600 positions will nearly double Avant’s current 800-strong employee count. [Built In Chicago]


Chicago's Cision picks up PR Newswire in $841M deal

, a media intelligence company that provides PR and social media software, analytics, and insights to over 100,000 customers worldwide, announced Tuesday the proposed agreement to acquire PR Newswire from UBM for $841, according to UBM. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, once it has been approved by UBM shareholders. [Built In Chicago]

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