Not Uber. Not Slack. Not WeWork, Postmates, DraftKings or DoorDash. The hottest startup of 2015 is a less than two-year-old Chicago predictive analytics company–at least according to Forbes.
Forbes released its Hottest Startups of 2015 Thursday and named fast-growing Chicago startup Uptake No. 1 on the list. Forbes called Uptake, which launched in the summer of 2014 by Groupon Co-Founder Brad Keywell, a “nearly unknown” and “secretive” data analytics company that “(came) out of nowhere.”
Indeed, Uptake seemingly bursted on to the Chicago tech scene from nothing after it launched out of stealth in 2014. The company raised $45 million from GreatPoint Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Caterpillar, and Lightbank in October, valuing the startup at Unicorn status at $1.1 billion.
As Forbes notes (and Chicago Inno can confirm), a lot of what Uptake does is largely unknown. Uptake is tight lipped on a lot of their specifics, but here’s what we do know: Uptake works with large companies in industries like construction, mining and agriculture to help them collect and analyze massive amounts of data. For example, Uptake works with Illinois-based Caterpillar to create software that helps CAT better understand its machines. With Uptake’s technology, CAT can better predict when a malfunction is going to occur in one of its machines before it happens, which then increases efficiency and saves money.
Uptake has around 350 people in its Chicago headquarters and recently hired former Morningstar CTO Greg Goff as its chief product officer, according to Crain’s.
Uptake has quickly made waves in the Chicago tech community, but it’s clear now that the startup’s fast growth is being seen nationally as well. On a list of the hottest startups in the world, it’s not every day (ever?) that a Chicago company tops the list.