Top Startups / July 23, 2021
Asaf Fybish

Asaf is an investor and startup growth advisor. He specializes in organic marketing and he's our Chief of Stash

Top Chicago Startups To Watch in 2021

Chicago is one of the most famous cities in the world and the city's startup ecosystem is reflective of this. The ecosystem is among the best in the world, with the total funding of $1.2 Billion being nearly three times the city ecosystem average across the world. Furthermore, the value of the ecosystem sits at $21 Billion and this is twice the average value of city ecosystems across the globe.

The technology sector in the city is thriving, with a total of around 14,000 technology companies contained within Chicago, with these companies employing around 340,000 people. The ecosystem is also known for being one of the most representative in terms of having female founders and a range of other government policies and educational successes have driven the city forward.

1. Fyllo

Year Founded: 2019

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Aristotle Loumis, Chad Bronstein, Erik Shani

Fyllo is a Chicago startup that was founded in 2019 and is still currently based in the Windy City. The company provides software solutions and other services, is powered by an advanced legislative database that provides information on the legality of cannabis in different places. This helps businesses in the cannabis sector to more easily navigate the varied legalities across different constituencies.

The startup has been very active in attracting startup funding, with the company managing to strike deals with a total of ten investors so far. These investors have put a cumulative total of $58 Million into the business. Fyllo has also been active in the acquisitions market, with the company striking a pair of take-over deals in its two years of trading.

2. LogicGate

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Dan Campbell, Jon Siegler, Matt Kunkel

LogicGate is one of the most exciting SaaS startups in Chicago and was founded in 2016, the company is still currently operating from a headquarters in Chicago. Their solution helps businesses to take processes that are usually disorganized and messy and makes them better through automation and tracking. This helps businesses to improve their compliance and risks when operating.

The Chicago startup has already managed to receive startup funding to further its development. This funding has come from a group of sixteen investors and currently stands at a figure of $133 Million, with the last round of funding taking place in June 2021.

3. Clearcover

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Derek Brigham, Kyle Nakatsuji

Clearcover is a fintech startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The company aims to do something different in the insurance sector by operating a digital platform and improving the prices of car insurance. This removes one of the biggest barriers to getting on the road and helps people in America to become more mobile.

Despite only being five years old, Clearcover has managed to amass a massive amount of startup funding. This funding is currently totaled at $304.5 Million and was achieved through a group of eleven investors, a relatively small number for this sum.

4. Paro

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Dan Wywrot, Michael Burdick

Paro is a Chicago startup that was founded in 2015 and is still currently based in the city. The company aims to help finance professionals through the creation and operation of its professional service marketplace. Their platform allows businesses to connect with high-quality freelancers that can complete the tasks they need, on a flexible basis.

Paro has received a large amount of startup funding in its six years of trading, with investment coming from a total of ten investors. Altogether these investors have allowed the business to raise a figure of $43.5 Million to further develop its service offering.

5. UPshow

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Adam Hirsen, Matt Gibbs

UPshow is a startup in Chicago that was founded in 2015 and was founded by a pair of businessmen, growing quickly since then. The startup provides technology to improve the engagement of existing digital ad displays for businesses, to improve capture around specific venues. This maximizes the profit and the efficiencies generated from these display boards.

Upshow has received a respectable amount of funding to take the business to the next level, with the display board masters making a total of $17 Million, which was achieved through the actions of twelve investors.

6. Kin Insurance

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Lucas Ward, Sean Harper, Sebastian Villarreal, Stephen Wooten

Kin Insurance is an InsurTech startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The company is making a name for itself by protecting the homes of those that live in areas most affected by disasters like hurricanes and more. The company provides tailored home insurance packages to people searching for them, which leads to a fair price quote and high-quality customer service interactions.

The company has managed to attract a large deal of funding to further its growth and development over five years. In total, the company has managed to strike deals with 33 investors and this has resulted in the company raking in $156.2 Million.

7. CreditNinja

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Mark Friedgan

CreditNinja is a fintech startup that was founded in 2017 and is currently based in Chicago. The company helps people with bad credit scores when they are going through financial emergencies. This is achieved through the provision of cheaper loans that don't break the bank when you start paying them back, this is handy for a population that is becoming more reliant on lines of credit.

8. Forager

Year Founded: 2018

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Jessie Essman, Jordan Salins, Matt Silver

Forager is one of the front-running logistics startups in Chicago, having been founded three years ago. The company provides software solutions that assist with the complexities of driving logistics channels across borders. These systems ultimately save companies money by increasing the efficiencies of their logistical operations.

The company has seen some heavy investment, despite only being founded in 2018. So far, the company has managed to come to agreements with eight investors and they have raised a total of $14.8 Million to help drive the business forward.

9. TimeDoc Health

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Curtis Ginder, John-Patrick Di Cosola, William Boeglin

TimeDoc Health is a Chicago-based Healthcare technology startup that was founded in 2015. The company provides an IT infrastructure that allows healthcare providers to more effectively manage the care of patients that have chronic illnesses that need consistent management. This leads to happier patients and better overall results for the care providers.

The company has managed to attract investment to its cause since being founded six years ago. In total, the startup has received investment from a group of eight investors. These investors have collectively put a total of $9.7 Million into the startup.

10. Tovala

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Bryan Wilcox, David Rabie

Tovala is a Chicago startup that was founded in 2015 and operates within the food technology sector. The company's offering is centred around its provision of a smart oven to its customers, in addition to a dedicated meal delivery service. This means that people can get meals to their doors and can quickly cook them to save time in the day.

The startup has managed to make a large amount of money from startup funding since it was established. In total, a group of 26 investors have sunk $68.6 Million into the growing business. It should also be noted that in that time, the company has also completed the acquisition of another business.

11. Ocient

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Chris Gladwin, George Kondiles, Joe Jablonski

Ocient is an analytics startup that was founded in 2016 and currently has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The company helps businesses with the creation of massive-scale datasets, that are collated in near-real time to ensure the accuracy of the data that is being provided in the database.

Since it was founded, the company has managed to attract a significant level of startup funding. In total, the company has managed to raise a figure of $65 Million for further growth and development in the business. This was achieved through the investments of 13 investors in five years.

12. Hazel Technologies

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Adam Preslar, Aidan Mouat, Amy Garber, Patrick Flynn, Yuvaraj Kundasi

Hazel Technologies is an agriculture startup that was founded in 2015 and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The main offering of the business is its biotechnology which helps farmers to reduce the level of waste that is involved in their daily farming operations. This helps them to increase their profit, sustainability and success.

The company has become very popular with investors over the years, with a total of 15 putting their money behind the startup. This has resulted in the company managing to make a total of $87.8 Million in startup funding across six years.

13. Upfront Healthcare Services

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Ben Albert, Carrie Kozlowski

Upfront Healthcare is a medical technology startup that was founded in 2015 and is currently based in the Windy City. The company seeks to improve the experience in medical care by combining data analytics with automated patient contact and the use of dynamic content based on the needs of the individual patient.

UpFront Healthcare has managed to make a large total of investment since it was founded six years ago. This has been through the efforts of six investors that have been impressed by the business, allowing them to confidently part ways with a collective $20 Million.

14. PartySlate

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): John Haro, Julie Roth Novack

PartySlate is an events startup that is currently based in Chicago and was founded six years ago. The company provides a platform where event professionals can display their work and find new gigs to work on. This platform also connects people that have a need for a certain type of event professional, meaning everybody wins.

Despite the worries of COVID-19, the company is still going strong and they have managed to convince investors to put money into them for growth and development. In total, a number of 19 investors have put their money into the project, with the total investment amount being a figure of $11.5 Million.

15. Inhabitr

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Ankur Agrawal, Pratiksha Agrawal

Inhabitr is a startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The company makes its money by operating an e-commerce platform for furniture. On this platform, customers are able to purchase, rent, or even rent to buy furniture. This gives customers more options on how to furnish their homes.

The company has managed to find an investor to take a chance on their business, which has resulted in the company receiving an investment that is worth a total of $4 Million. This money has seen the company through the difficult times of recent years.

16. Cooler Screens

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Arsen Avakian, Glen Tullman, Greg Wasson, Jamie Koval

Cooler Screens is one of the best up-and-coming retail startups in Chicago and has been since it was founded in 2017. The company provides digital displays for businesses in the retail sector. These displays will replace the glass doors that separate certain aisles and makes for a more efficient and effective marketing tool in the retail setting.

Investors have shown that they have faith in the offering given by Cooler Screens, with the company managing to convince a total of five investors to part with their money. These investors have spent big, with the company making a total of $80.7 Million in startup funding.

17. Leaf Trade

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): James Yi, Jeffrey Dirrenberger

Last Trade is a B2B startup for the cannabis industry that was founded in 2017 and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The company provides an online e-commerce solution for wholesalers in the cannabis sector. This provides a link between growers and sellers in a market that is currently heavily regulated.

The company has received a healthy amount of startup funding since it was founded four years ago. The total number of investors that have put their money into the company stands at four and this resulted in the company receiving $10.5 Million.

18. PatientIQ

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Jimmy Skuros, Matthew Gitelis

PatientIQ is a healthcare technology startup that was founded in 2016 and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The platform combines advanced analytics tools and patient management to create a system that improves the overall quality of patient care for healthcare providers that use the platform.

The company has managed to raise money to further its growth and development over the previous five years, with the company making a total of $6.2 Million.

19. Provi

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Taylor Katzman

Provi is a startup from Chicago that was founded in 2016 and currently operates in the food and drink industry. Specifically, the company operates a platform that allows bars and restaurants to simplify the process of making orders for alcohol. This allows them to spend more time on other things that matter.

The company has managed to make a good amount of money from startup funding since it was founded in 2016. In total, the business has managed to come to agreements with seven investors. This has led to the company making a total of $4.9 Million in five years.

20. CoPilot

Year Founded: 2020

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Pat Ryan

CoPilot is an automotive startup that was founded last year and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois. The company provides a platform that assists people with the process of buying a car through the use of expert advice. This empowers the customer to make the choices that are best for them

CoPilot has managed to secure investment from a total of four investors in the past year and this has led to the company making a total of $17 Million. This is a massive amount of money for a company to make from investment in its first year.

21. K4 Mobility

Year Founded: 2018

HQ: Chicago, Illinois

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Anand Chari, Michael Small

K4 Mobility is an internet startup that was founded three years ago and is currently based in Chicago, Illinois, being one of the most interesting startups in Chicago. The company provides solutions for internet access on maritime vehicles like ships and more. Their solution helps ships to select the best networks, satellites and more.\
Since being founded three years ago, the company has managed to make a large amount of startup funding. In total, the company has managed to make a figure of $13.5 Million.

Top Chicago Startups To Watch...
Asaf Fybish

Asaf is an investor and startup growth advisor. He specializes in organic marketing and he's our Chief of Stash

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