Chicago and Illinois

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Booksy Is Making Appointment Scheduling Easier and More Efficient

By Tom Chapman / October 11, 2019

Last week, Chicago based Booksy announced that it had raised a large Series B2 round ($28.5 million) from existing and new investors.  The company is the largest mobile marketplace for appointment-driven beauty services in the country. In short, Booksy is focused on disrupting the beauty booking market. Beauty services are a $90 billion market in…

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Funding Roundup: Week of September 23rd

By SPN Team / October 3, 2019

In the interest of keeping tabs on fundings on the Silicon Prairie, this week we are providing a simple funding round-up.  For this round-up, we used Form Ds, Pitchbook, and Crunchbase to provide us with a list of companies that received early stage funding, venture capital funding, or grants.  We have provided information regarding the…

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Meet a VC: Firebrand Ventures from Kansas City

By Tom Chapman / October 3, 2019

In August of 2016, John Fein started the process of raising a venture capital fund in Kansas City.  He had a target of $7 million as his fund size and as he describes – “zero connections” to the high net worth community in Kansas City. However, he had a mission to raise and invest the…

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Research: State Funding Report for the Silicon Prairie

By Tom Chapman / September 16, 2019

2018 was a terrific year for the Silicon Prairie regarding venture dollars deployed.  More than $6.1B was deployed in the region.  While the number of companies receiving funds was about 8% lower (approximately 1450 companies were venture backed in the region), the amount of funding was up more than 34.5% from 2017 to 2018.  Thus,…

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Another Raise for Inprentus

By SPN Team / September 5, 2019

Inprentus, a Champaign, Illinois, company filed paperwork with the SEC on Friday that it had completed a raise of more than $1 million.  Inprentus makes blazed diffraction gratings used at synchrotrons and free electron laser facilities.  The company was created in 2012 by University of Illinois faculty member, Peter Abbemonte. Inprentus build diffraction gratings for…

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Meet a Venture Firm: Innova Memphis

By Tom Chapman / September 3, 2019

The Innova Ag Innovation Fund IV has invested in five of the Silicon Prairie’s leading startups.  However, its origin suggests just how unlikely this was. In 2007, Innova Memphis was founded by Ken Woody as part of the Memphis BioWorks Foundation.  This foundation was part of an effort in Memphis, Tennessee to jumpstart the region’s…

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FinTech Company, CardX Raises Round

By Tom Chapman / August 30, 2019

CardX, a Chicago-based FinTech company, disclosed Monday that the firm had raised $2 million from Pace Financial Group.  The company promises no fees on credit card transactions because of the company’s regulatory expertise. The company was founded by Jonathan Razi and Michael Tomko, both graduates of Harvard Law School.  These lawyers have created a service…

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SpotHero finds significant Series D funds

By Tom Chapman / August 23, 2019

Chicago-based SpotHero is a reservation service for parking spaces.  The company which is reported to have agreements in 300 cities has a primary focus on larger North American cities.  The company has agreements in place with over one thousand garages. The company was able to raise a $50 million Series D round from Macquarie Capital,…

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FanFood announces partnership with Samsung

By Justin Krug / August 14, 2019

Last week, SPN had the chance to speak with Carson Goodale, founder, and CEO of FanFood. FanFood was originally formed in Iowa but the company has since moved to Chicago to pursue their business. FanFood is a mobile ordering and concessions management platform designed to improve the fan experience while streamlining the concessions management and…

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First fundings research report

By Tom Chapman / August 2, 2019

In talking to Jessica Straus, Dundee Venture Capital’s new Venture Partner, it occurred to me that we should write an update on first fundings in what Straus called the “mighty middle”. This paper describes first fundings.  First fundings are a recordation of companies that raise capital for the first time.  This paper uses Pitchbook data…

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