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Midwest Funding Report: Chicago’s Project 44 Closes $420M

The Funding Roundup is a weekly note about companies that raised venture capital.  We use four sources – 1) those that are sent to us via press release ([email protected]), 2) Form D filings in the sixteen states that we cover, 3) Databases to which we subscribe (particularly Pitchbook, Crunchbase), 4) Other sources (such as SBIR grant database).  The goal of the funding roundup is to provide a quick synthesis of companies that are actively raising money.  This is not a value judgment placing VC backed companies over bootstrapped – only a recognition that VC backed companies often file paperwork that puts them on our radar. 

While not surprising, Chicago dominated this week’s funding report.  Five of the six largest rounds in the region were Chicago companies – including Project 44 (advanced supply chain visibility) and Foxtrot (food delivery).   Last year, Chicago produced nearly $20B in investments, and the Chicago-land region is already over $800 million for 2022.  The region is in the process of a metamorphosis of which Ovid would be proud.  In addition to Chicago, Champaign also saw two fairly substantial rounds.  2021 was a down year for Champaign’s ecosystem, but it looks like it has sprung back in 2022 with some exciting new technology businesses.  Nebraska and South Dakota remain without a venture funding in 2022.  But, North Dakota, Iowa, and Indiana all had big weeks.  North Dakota’s Anchor Ingredients (backed by the Burgums) seems to have positive momentum with a $30m+ round.  Indiana and Iowa both had multiple deals – including two in rural areas.  

In conclusion, this two week report appears to suggest that the region’s huge 2021 will continue into at least the first part of 2022.  This is exciting and suggests that there will be a variety of new and interesting deals emerging over the course of the next couple of months.

Large Round
Project 44$420m ChicagoIllinois
Foxtrot$100m ChicagoIllinois
Forge Biologics$80m Grove CityOhio
Avaneer$50m Oak BrookIllinois
Defi Alliance$50m ChicagoIllinois
LanzaJet$50m DeerfieldIllinois
AcreTrader$40m FayettevilleArkansas
AI Software$39m Saint LouisMissouri
Blockfills$37m ChicagoIllinois
Nuvaira$31.3m MinneapolisMinnesota
Anchor Ingredients$30.8m FargoNorth Dakota
Capacity$27m Saint LouisMissouri
Formic$26.5m ChicagoIllinois
Boncura Health Solutions$23.7m Downers GroveIllinois
Finclusion Group$20m RepublicMissouri
MYZONE$17m ChicagoIllinois
Virtual Peaker$12.5m LouisvilleKentucky
Barologics$11.5m CarverMinnesota
Bolster$11m IndianapolisIndiana
Aurenity$10m ChicagoIllinois
FactoryFix$10m ChicagoIllinois
Series A ($2M to $10M)
Lemonada$8m MinneapolisMinnesota
DriverReach$7.5m CarmelIndiana
Valiant BMC$7m West Des MoinesIowa
Castiron$6m IndianapolisIndiana
Lucy$6m MinneapolisMinnesota
Voltage$6m WichitaKansas
Lumavate$6m CarmelIndiana
Games Done Quick$3.4m MinneapolisMinnesota
Identomat$3.2m ChampaignIllinois
Eikonoklastes Therapeutics$2.8m CincinnatiOhio
BOND.AI$2.5m Little RockArkansas
CyteGen$2.1m ShorewoodWisconsin
pocketnest$2m Ann ArborMichigan
Web Finance Direct$2m OnalaskaWisconsin
Early Stage ($500k to $2M)
Big Bites$1.9mDeerfieldIllinois
Arc Suppression Technologies$1.9mBloomingtonMinnesota
Perfect Air$1.9mChicagoIllinois
Atomic Object$1.6mGrand RapidsMichigan
Juniper Health$1.5mMinneapolisMinnesota
3Fifteen Cannabis$1.5m BirminghamMichigan
Autonomic Materials$1.5m ChampaignIllinois
Good Maps$1.4m LouisvilleKentucky
HealtheMed$1.3m Mendota HeightsMichigan
Mobility Solutions$1.2m Des MoinesIowa
FanFueled$1.1m ChicagoIllinois
Innovative Health Ventures$1m PlymouthMinnesota
HomeRoom$1m Prairie Village Kansas
Oars + Alps$1m ChicagoIllinois
Alquist 3D$1m Iowa CityIowa
Grannus Therapeutics$.95m IndianapolisIndiana
CelerPurus$.5m ClevelandOhio
Ethos ESG$.5m MinneapolisMinnesota
Roll.$.5m CincinnatiOhio
Seed Stage (0 to $500k)
Bridge to College$.35m ChicagoIllinois
Velocity Esports$.3m ChicagoIllinois
SmartLife Chocolate$.26m GranvilleOhio
My TalentPlanner$.25m Green BayWisconsin
Click Deal Buy!$.23m Buffalo GroveIllinois
Hellcat Technologies$.2m TaborIowa
ProtoKinetix$.2m MariettaOhio
BWR Innovations$.17m FargoNorth Dakota
Free Leafy Greens$.15m HudsonOhio
LABR$.13m Grand RapidsMichigan
Verility$.1m MaxwellIndiana
ActivOrtho$.08m PlymouthMinnesota
Civil Site Group$.07m St. Louis ParkMinnesota
IotaMotion$.06m Iowa CityIowa
EagleRail$.05m ChicagoIllinois
ER Logix$.05m ChicagoIllinois
Fla$.02m ZionsvilleIndiana
MSAsDealsAmount (in millions)  StatesDeals Amount (in millions) 
Chicago25$965.36Illinois27$ 968.66
Saint Louis5$75.65Oklahoma1$14.00
Oklahoma City1$14.00Minnesota13$66.75
Kansas City2$10.00Iowa5$9.46
Des Moines2$8.20North Dakota2$31.17
Little Rock2$5.00South Dakota0 
Ann Arbor2$3.50 
Grand Rapids3$2.38 
La Crosse1$2.00 
Iowa City2$1.06 
Green Bay1$0.15    


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