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Tech Companies In Chicago You Should Know About

By | February 1, 2024

The city of Chicago is known for its bustling downtown, diverse dining scene, and world-class performing arts centers. In addition to its attractions, the city also offers a tech community with an abundance of startups.

With such a large population and so many talented people, it’s no surprise that there are an abundance of tech companies in the city.

If you’ve been to Chicago in the past few years, you’ve no doubt noticed it’s quickly becoming one of the great tech hubs in the country.

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The city is well-known as a great place for businesses because of its low cost of living, excellent public transportation system, and access to key universities like Northwestern University.

While there are other great tech hubs around the country (Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston), this list focuses on some companies operating out of the Windy City with headquarters located in Itasca or Lake Forest so they don’t have to take on any additional taxes.

1. Software development company

Honest Inc. is a computer software development company that provides customized solutions to restaurants and retail chains. Founded in February 2017 by former GoDaddy employees, Honest Inc.’s headquarters is located in Chicago, IL.

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The Honest team is located in New York City and Los Angeles, CA, in addition to Chicago. Honest is backed by leading venture capital firms and has raised $30 million in funding from investors including Y Combinator, Sam Altman, and Foundry Ventures.

Honest works with chains that are looking to build out their online ordering and delivery capabilities. The Honest-built platform helps restaurants deliver to more than 600,000 locations nationwide in 800+ cities, including Chicago, Seattle, Tampa, and more.

Honest launched in February 2017 and has quickly gained traction, signing up nearly 500 customers. The Honest team has managed to scale operations quickly and has grown from 15 employees to more than 100 people in just a few months. The Honest team is based out of Honest’s Chicago office and is led by Founder & CEO Chris Hamrick.

2. Data and exchange platform

Zagso, also known as “the sharing economy for flowers,” connects florists and customers through the Zagso app. It was founded in Chicago in 2015, and now has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, and Bangalore.

Zagso’s core focus is on the $74 billion flower industry and creating a platform that connects florists to customers. Zagso’s platform allows customers to browse, sort and order flowers from local florists at a low cost and with a convenient, trusted experience.

Zagso also provides financial and marketing support to its customers, by offering coupons, discounts, and marketing materials. Zagso is working to solve a major industry problem. More than one-third of flowers purchased in the U.S. are never delivered to the recipient, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Zagso estimates this wasted opportunity costs the flower industry $74 billion each year. Zagso was founded by Vedant Kumar, who is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded and exited three companies.

3. Marketing automation software

Rally is a marketing automation software company based in Lake Forest. It was founded in 2016 by Samir Arora and Parul Sehgal. Rally provides marketing software that helps businesses manage and track their marketing activities across channels and devices.

The company was named to the 2018 Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies. Rally was named to the Inc. 5000 list while experiencing rapid growth — the company had just two full-time employees in 2016 and has more than 60 employees today.

That growth has come in part thanks to Rally’s marketing automation software. Rally’s marketing automation software lets businesses manage and track their marketing activities across channels and devices. Rally’s marketing automation software is built on the idea of “prescriptive marketing.”

With prescriptive marketing, businesses can set specific rules for when messages are sent to specific groups of customers or from specific sources. For example, if a customer has clicked on one of your emails, you can automatically send them a message about your latest sale.

Or if a customer starts viewing your ad, you can automatically trigger a sequence of actions in your marketing software.

4. Cloud-based video platform

Mastr is a cloud-based video advertising platform. Founded in 2013, Mastr was originally called Mettle and was one of the first companies to bring in-video advertisements to YouTube.

Today, the company has raised $22 million from investors including FirstMark Capital and North Bridge Venture Partners. Mastr’s technology helps advertisers create digital video ads that are displayed on YouTube, Facebook, and other digital video platforms.

These ads are viewable across devices and platforms, enabling users to easily skip the ad and continue watching their favorite content. Mastr’s cloud-based technology is also scalable, which enables Mastr to scale quickly to meet the needs of its growing customer base.

The Mastr technology was originally developed by the founders in the founders’ garage and is now a nationally recognized brand.

5. Smart city app development company

Cityzen is an app development company that builds apps for cities. Founded in 2010, Cityzen is headquartered in Chicago’s northern suburbs and has offices in New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco. Cityzen’s technology helps cities create a digital transformation.

The company is focused on creating innovative technology solutions to help cities solve big problems. Cityzen was founded by CEO Adario Strange and CTO Kevin Cummings. Cityzen’s flagship product is Cityzen Symphony, a platform that helps cities manage their most critical data assets — and make them accessible, usable, and affordable for citizens and city operations.

It enables cities to quickly create and deploy enterprise-grade applications that are accessible and usable by citizens. Cityzen’s platform also helps cities manage their data assets, including real-time analytics and access control, while providing powerful insights.

6. Business services company

Bizible is a cloud-based digital marketing platform that helps improve marketing efficiency by delivering easy-to-use tools to track and analyze marketing campaigns. Founded in 2016, Bizible was co-founded by CEO Alon Halevy and CTO Eli Halimi.

Bizible’s core focus is on improved marketing performance and helping companies such as HubSpot, Merrick, and Inter Milan soccer clubs improve their marketing performance. This technology helps marketers better understand their data and analytics. It is also built on the three core principles of simplicity, scalability, and security.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to launch a tech business in Chicago, consider the companies on this list. These companies make a significant impact on the city’s growing tech scene and offer startups a variety of opportunities for growth.

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