After a stellar January and February in which companies raised $100 million and $150 million, respectively, funding in Chicago tech experienced somewhat of a dip in March. This month, Chicago tech companies raised just shy of $340 million, driven in large part by huge rounds for Groupon and Livongo Health.
Before we proceed, a word of caution: this month’s numbers cannot be placed side-to-side with previous months’ in an apples-to-apples comparison.
Groupon, which is publicly traded, is spending a large chunk of its cash infusion on stock buybacks, making the round a different beast altogether from an early stage round for a company looking to move into bigger offices or double its team size. That said, we nonetheless decided to include the round in our funding roundup. However atypical, it’s still a major round of private capital raised by a Chicago tech company.
So without further ado, here are April’s five biggest rounds:
5. $5.8 million, April 7
Bio: Launched in 2011, ForeverCar is an online marketplace for extended vehicle service contracts.
4. $8.5 million, April 20
Investors: Romar Partners, Moderne Ventures, Grotech Ventures and Starvest Partners
Bio: UrbanBound helps companies relocate employees by providing a one-stop shop for everything from managing budgets to finding apartments, hiring movers, setting up utilities and getting to know a new city.
News: Having recently been accepted into Moderne Ventures’ real estate tech accelerator, the company is looking to expand its team substantially in the upcoming year.
3. $14 million, April 20
Investors: Drive Capital, Chicago Ventures and FireStarter Fund
Bio: Kapow connects companies looking to host creative events with the venues that make them happen.
News: With roots in the corporate events planning industry, Kapow is pivoting away from the services industry to focus more on the scalable technology arm of its business.
2. $44.5 million, March 12
Investors: Zaffre Investments (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts), 7wire Ventures, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Cowen Private Investments, Sapphire Ventures and more
Bio: Founded in 2014, Livongo Health creates wireless glucose monitoring devices, providing patients with real-time insights to help them better manage their health.
News: Home improvement chain Lowe’s is now offering Livongo’s technology to all of its employees and their dependents nationwide as part of its health benefits package.
1. $250 million, March 4
Bio: Founded in 2008, Groupon connects consumers with local businesses through its marketplace of deals and special offers.
News: The $250 million investment into the publicly traded company comes from a private investment company led by former Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis. According to a statement released by the companies, Groupon and Comcast are currently exploring partnership opportunities around consumer engagement.
Images via Shutterstock and listed companies.