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Midwest Funding report: ShipBob Reaches Over $1B Valuation with latest Round

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 (, 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. 

This week’s funding report includes a significant number of large rounds (9).  These rounds, as with last week, provide weight to Chicago’s overall funding impact on the region – with three large rounds making up significant parts of the week’s total funding.  It begs a number of important ecosystem questions for the region – including whether or not Chicago outweighs due to its being a significant capital home, population center, or perhaps because it has more innovation.  While it seems possible that the last argument is the reason, it remains equally possible that it is something else – such as a capital formation gap in the rest of the region.  Why, for example, does Chicago have more capital deployed than many of the state’s in the region – even when combined.  It is not solely population, as a grouping of the smaller states would equal the population.  Is it possible that it is simply that dense cities create more innovation?  This is an on-going question that seems to be refuted by the emergence of smaller clustered communities with robust capital deployments – such as Denver/Boulder, Austin, RTP, and even smaller examples such as Bozeman, Montana.  In other words, one of the questions that should be asked around the region is how to replicate the positive capital flows in Chicago in the less densely populated parts of the region.

Large Rounds (More than $10M)
ShipBob$200M Chicago, Illinois
Shine Medical$150M Janesville, Wisconsin
LogicGate$90M Chicago, Illinois
Physna$56M Cincinnati, Ohio
Blockware Mining$25M Chicago, Illinois
Mandolin$12M Indianapolis, Indiana
FluGen$11.4M Madison, Wisconsin
Axuall$10.4M Cleveland, Ohio
4C$10M Maple Grove, Minnesota
Series A ($2M to $10M)
Zerv$8.6M Chicago, Illinois
Runtime Verification$5.3M Urbana, Illinois
Driven Data$4.5M Indianapolis, Indiana
Forj$4.5M Waukesha, Wisconsin
Arrows$2.8M Madison, Wisconsin
PechaKucha$2.7M Chicago, Illinois
Starspace$2.4M New Albany, Indiana
Ovation Foods$2.3M Waterloo, Wisconsin
Early Stage ($500k to $2M)
Virtual Training Simplified$1.7M Brighton, Michigan
SkinIO$1.1M Chicago, Illinois
Spotivity$1M Chicago, Illinois
VirtualZ$.7M Minneapolis, Minnesota
Fenworks$.52M Grand Forks, North Dakota
Seed Stage (0 to $500k)
VINsyt$.17M Saint Louis, Missouri
Paintru$.32M Mentor, Ohio
Nob Hill Therapeutics$.1M Fayetteville, Arkansas
Top Note$.05MMilwaukee, Wisconsin
Covira Surgical$.02M Chicago, Illinois

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