March funding gets off to a fast start

Ascent RegTech, whose cloud-based platform helps companies working in regulated industries meet compliance requirements, kicked off March by announcing it raised a $6 million Series A. The company will use the round to improve its automation processes and to add support for new regulatory channels. Ascent will also grow its technology, data science, legal analysis, marketing and sales teams. [Built In Chicago]

Meanwhile, crowdsourced referral recruiting company Hunt Club raised fresh funding last Friday. The company added $1.8 million to its coffers in the form of equity funding, according to an SEC filing. [Chicago Inno]

Paro raised a $5 million Series A round on Monday. The company’s platform connects freelance finance and accounting professionals to businesses in need of their services. The company will use part of the round to accelerate development of its platform and to double headcount, with a specific focus on growing its tech and sales teams. [Built In Chicago]

On Wednesday, Ocient became the third Chicago tech company in a week to announce a Series A round. The big data startup — Ocient is developing technology to analyze exabyte-sized data sets — will use the funding for hiring and to build out its research and development infrastructure. [Built In Chicago]

Technically, Kin Insurance’s $13 million round was raised in February. But the startup didn’t publicize the round until Tuesday, when CEO Sean Harper spoke to Crain’s. Harper told the outlet that the funding would help fuel the company’s national expansion plans. Kin, whose tech is designed to make homeowners insurance easier to buy, is currently live in Florida and Texas. [Built In Chicago]

FourKites Chicago team

Speaking of funding, Chicago tech raised $89M last month

February was a slower month for new tech funding rounds, with $89 million raised. While that total is down from January’s $169 million haul, February did see increased participation, with 18 companies contributing to the month’s total as opposed to just 13 in January. Fun fact: The month’s biggest round belonged to FourKites, which raised a $35 million Series B. [Built In Chicago

ParkWhiz CEO Yona Shtern

ParkWhiz, SMS Assist welcome new execs

Yona Shtern


Yona Shtern is the new CEO of ParkWhiz. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Shtern was the company’s chairman for the past year. He also founded and served as CEO of e-commerce marketplace Beyond the Rack. ParkWhiz’s former CEO and founder, Aashish Dalal, will remain with the company as chairman of the board. [Press release]

Peter Commons

Chief Product Officer

SMS Assist has bolstered its executive team with the hiring of Peter Commons. The company’s new chief product officer was most recently director of global technology and product for Amazon Fresh. Welcome to Chicago, Peter. [Business Wire]

Trading Technologies cryptocurrency

Trading Technologies enters the world of cryptocurrency

In late January, Trading Technologies announced a partnership with Coinbase to offer its users access to the Global Digital Asset Exchange, better known as GDAX, through its platform. That partnership has now gone into full effect, with Trading Technologies’ users able to trade both digital currencies and derivatives side by side, a first on any platform. [Press release]

project44 Chicago team

GE Transportation teams up with project44

The big-time partnerships just keep rolling in for project44. A few weeks after news of its partnership with Echo Global Logistics surfaced, GE Transportation announced that it’s integrating the company’s software into its railroad and shipper product suites. The move is designed to connect and augment the two products, with the end goal being to provide greater port-to-door visibility for providers across the supply chain. [Business Wire]

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