Time to catch up on recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:
—Madison-based Gravy snagged the first investment from Rock River Capital Partners, which recently closed its debut fund. Rock River partner Andy Walker told Xconomy the venture funding round for Gravy totaled about $2 million. Other investors in the deal included MSA Capital, a Chinese firm that invests in “social e-commerce” companies, according to a press release.
When Xconomy profiled Gravy last year, the company was developing a live online broadcasting platform for shows about cooking, fashion, and other topics. Gravy has since changed its business model, and now broadcasts live, interactive shopping game shows online, in which its mobile app users are contestants.
Rock River is part of the Badger Fund of Funds, a program supported in part by the state of Wisconsin that was created to provide capital to early-stage businesses.
—Steamchain, a Milwaukee-based startup developing blockchain technology for the manufacturing industry, said it closed a $2.7 million seed funding round led by Capital Midwest Fund. Other investors in the round included Northwestern Mutual’s Cream City Venture Capital fund, Gener8tor, and the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Steamchain CEO Michael Cromheecke said in an e-mail to Xconomy. His company participated in Gener8tor’s startup accelerator program in Milwaukee last year. Read the full story here.