Chicago startups’ 2012: $391M raised, 26 acquisitions, 1 IPO and $698M in exits

Chicago startups’ 2012: $391M raised, 26 acquisitions, 1 IPO and $698M in exits

Built in Chicago, a central hub and portal of the Chicago technology scene, today released a number of key metrics for the Windy City’s 2012, helping to place in context both how its local young technology firms are performing, and how the city as a whole has fared.

Comparing 2011 to 2012, Chicago demonstrated growth. That the numbers say this isn’t surprising. I lived in Chicago for all of 2011, and half of 2012, feeling the acceleration first hand as I tooled around the city’s technology day and night life.

Here are the core figures comparing the two years:

  • 197 new startups were launched in 2012, up 4 from 2011.
  • 59 firms collected $1 million in funding during the year, up from 44 in 2011.

That said, the year’s metrics had other standout figures, including that more than 50 venture capital firms from other areas invested into the Chicago scene in the past year. That would appear to indicate a rising profile for those working in the city.

By Built’s tally, Chicago startups raised $391 million in the year. Perhaps more importantly, companies in the city returned $698 million to their investors through 26 acquisitions and the initial public offering (IPO) of Acquity Group.

Chicago remains a small scene when compared to the Valley, however. GoHealth raised $50 million during the year, to construct a “health insurance comparison site,” according to Built in Chicago. That $50 million helped make healthcare the most popular variety of technology startup, absorbing a stunning 27% of raised funds. In short, single big events can still sway the city’s numbers.

However, that in mind, the city has certainly established itself as more than the place that Groupon was born. Further evidence of that fact is that TechStars and Excelerate have joined teams. Excelerate was Chicago’s homegrown, and top quality incubator program. It’s now TechStars Chicago.

Top Image Credit: Luke H. Gordon

Read next: Focus@Will: The music-streaming service that wants to help you concentrate