The Illinois startup market in 2018 was very strong and is not slowing down as we establish ourselves in 2019. Almost $ 100 million in new venture capital funds have already been announced, so let’s take a quick look at the state of the company in Lincoln Land (with a specific focus on Chicago).
In the table below, we have plotted a venture capital agreement and dollar volume for Illinois overall. Financing data reported on Crunchbase shows a general upward trend in dollar volume, culminating in nearly $ 2 billion in venture capital deals in 2018; however, turnover has decreased from its peak in 2014.1
Chicago accounts for 97 percent of the dollar volume and 90.7 percent of the total business volume in the state. We include the rest of Illinois to avoid deciding which cities should be included in the Chicago metropolitan area.
In addition to all the investment in 2018, a number of Chicago business-backed companies came out last year. Here is a selection of the biggest deals of the year:
Crain’s Chicago Business reports that 2018 was the best year for Chicago business-backed startup acquisitions “in recent memory.” Crunchbase News has previously shown that the Midwest (which is anchored by Chicago) may have fewer startup exits, but the exits that do have. Often times, the results result in better multiples of the invested capital (calculated by dividing the amount of money by the one a company was sold for the amount of funds it raised from investors).
2018 was a solid year for Chicago startups, and 2019 is shaping up to bring more of the same. Just a couple of weeks into the new year, several companies have already announced big rounds of financing.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the biggest deals so far this year:
- On Thursday, commercial real estate search firm Truss raised $ 15 million in additional financing, extending the Series A round from the Deerfield, IL-based company. The deal was led by Boston-based General Catalyst. The deal brings Truss’s total equity and debt to more than $ 24 million.
- Learning management systems company BenchPrep announced $ 20 million in a Series C round co-led by Chicago-based Jump Capital and Chicago Bay-based Owl Ventures, LP. Some of that capital reportedly comes in the form of debt. The SEC filing for the round, dated December 2018, reveals that $ 14.53 million was raised in a stock offering, of which $ 2,999,999 was used to purchase shares of “certain executives” in the company.
- The Bringg delivery service raised $ 25 million in Series C funding, which was led by Next47. Other investors in the deal include The Coca-Cola Company, Salesforce Ventures and Aleph. Bringg’s clients include Walmart and McDonald’s. The company has raised at least $ 52 million in known hedge funds to date.
In addition to these, a number of seed deals have been announced. These include relatively large rounds generated by 3D modeling technology company ThreeKit, the new Small Exchange futures market, and the 24/7 telemedicine service First Stop Health.
Globally, and in North America, the risk agreement and dollar volume reached new records in 2018. However, it is not clear what 2019 will bring. What is true at the macro level is also true at the subway level. . However, do not discount the City of the Big Shoulders.