City Of The Big Shoulders? More like City Of The Big Rounds.
It’s just a few days into the final quarter of 2018, and Chicago’s late-stage startups are on a fundraising tear.
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The deal was led by new Institutional Venture Partners, represented by general partner Jules Maltz. Prior investors Accel (which led the company’s Series B round), Pritzker Group Venture Capital (which led its Series A), and Emergence Capital all participated in the round, according to Crunchbase data and media reports.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed by G2 Crowd. This round brings G2 Crowd’s total funding to just over $100 million raised to date.
Three Deals Kick Off The Fourth Quarter
In just the past week or so, two other Chicago companies raised big late-stage rounds of their own:
- Logistics technology company project44 (which the company stylizes with a lowercase “p”) raised $45 million in a Series C covered by Crunchbase News.
- Cresco Labs, a medical cannabis grower and extracts manufacturer, raised $100 million in a supergiant Series D round as the company expands outside the Illinois market.
With over $200 million raised in three late-stage funding (which Crunchbase defines as Series C, Series D, and later rounds) announced so far, the Chicago startup market starts Q4 off on strong footing.
This Year In Late-Stage Funding (So Far)
Pulling back to look at 2018 as a whole, Chicago startups have already raised more money in late-stage rounds than any year since 2011. The only reason Chicago’s late-stage funding totals were so large that year was that daily deal site Groupon closed $950 million in an improbably large Series D round.
Moreover, late-stage deal volume in the Windy City is on track to eclipse 2017’s record highs. With the remainder of Q4 to go, it’s likely there will be at least two more Series C, Series D, or later rounds.
Growth in late-stage deal volume points to a maturation in the city’s startup market. And in many ways, it’s this deal volume bump that matters most. Especially at later stages, the amount of money a company raises begins to vary quite a bit. There are bound to be outliers, but the unusually small rounds don’t make a material impact on dollar volume totals. Big rounds, like Groupon’s Series D, do.
Obviously, a lot can happen in the remaining weeks of 2018, and there’s no telling what 2019 will bring. But by most measures, it’s been a banner year for late-stage venture in general, but particularly for the City by the Lake.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias