Wisconsin Roundup: EatStreet, CorvisaCloud, Aereo, Biotech, & More
Here are a few notable recent announcements in Wisconsin’s innovation and technology community:
—EatStreet, the fast-growing Madison startup, signed an agreement with Yelp to integrate EatStreet’s online food-ordering service with the restaurant review website, allowing users to place orders directly from restaurants’ pages on Yelp. The news marks continued momentum for EatStreet, which is aiming to scale the business as it competes with the likes of Chicago-based GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB). EatStreet raised a $6 million Series B funding round in April that has put the company on pace to sign up more than 15,000 restaurants nationwide by the end of the year, it says. The company currently serves more than 10,000 restaurants in 1,100 cities.
—Despite a deep recession and slow economic recovery, employment in Wisconsin’s biotech sector grew 8.2 percent from 2007 to 2012, according to a new report. The state had nearly 32,000 biotech jobs across 1,391 companies in 2012. Wisconsin saw double-digit percentage increases in jobs within drugs and pharmaceuticals; research, testing, and medical labs; and medical device manufacturing, according to the Batelle report released during last week’s BIO International Convention.
Biotech continued to grab the lion’s share of university research dollars in the Badger State, with the $934 million in biotech research spending accounting for 70 percent of all academic R&D in 2012, the report found. That’s 9 percent higher than the national average.
But Wisconsin is stuck in the middle of the pack when it comes to venture capital investments in biotech, with just $260 million invested here between 2009 and 2013.
—Milwaukee-based CorvisaCloud, the developer of cloud-based software for customer service call centers, said it made an investment in San Francisco-based startup ManyWho. The deal size wasn’t disclosed. Salesforce.com is also an investor in ManyWho, which was founded a year ago by former Salesforce.com vice president Steve Wood. The startup provides cloud software that makes it easier to build enterprise applications.
CorvisaCloud said it will integrate ManyWho’s technology with its contact center software products. The announcement comes on the heels of a $30 million investment in CorvisaCloud by its owner, Novation Companies.
—Milwaukee residents who had hoped that Aereo would bring its online TV streaming service to southeastern Wisconsin apparently came tantalizingly close to getting their wish. The New York-based startup was planning to start installing a network of its tiny broadcast antennas in Milwaukee this week, according to a local data center official who spoke with the Milwaukee Business Journal. But last week, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo was violating broadcast networks’ copyrights, a decision that puts the startup’s future in jeopardy and seems to have zapped its Milwaukee plans, at least for now. Read more Xconomy coverage of Aereo’s Supreme Court case here and here.