Mayor Rahm Emmanuel paid a visit to the SMS Assist headquarters in late June, a company he learned about over five years ago. At that point, the office staffed less than 50 employees.
Much to his surprise, the technology company’s headquarters has expanded to three floors of the iconic John Hancock Center and is chock full of over 500 bustling workers, many of whom have started careers at SMS Assist within the last 12 months.
SMS Assist’s technology platform helps companies manage their properties, which in turn, enables them to provide a better experience for their customers, while also helping them cut costs and receive high quality service.
175 employees were hired in the last year at SMS Assist to keep up with its growth and expanding service offerings. The company has tripled in size in the last year and that is what caught Mayor Emanuel’s attention.
“Companies like SMS Assist are establishing the next generation of Chicago’s economy – an economy that is thriving due to the city’s central location, access to transportation, and unmatched talent,” the mayor stated in a press release regarding the visit.
This notable growth also served as a catalyst for a $150M investment in Series D funding from Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and a $1 billion dollar valuation. Although investments like these aren’t as common in the Windy City compared to the traditional Silicon Valley start-up scene, a recent report from PitchBook, a Seattle-based research firm, identified that Chicago companies generate the best venture capital returns in the country.
No wonder Mayor Emanuel is betting on Chicago.
“If you bet against Chicago, or you bet against the entrepreneurs of the city of Chicago or you bet against its grit, you’re going to be on the losing side,” Mayor Emanuel said during a press conference at the SMS Assist headquarters.
Private equity partners trust Chicago entrepreneurs and those entrepreneurs trust the hard-working talent that Chicago has to offer. In a city where dreams become a reality and investments result in huge returns, companies lucky enough to call the Windy City home are a sure thing.