In Return to Roots, Understory Raises $7.5M & Relocates HQ to WI

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closer to its device networks in Kansas City and Dallas. And like New England, there are plenty of insurance companies based in the Midwest, Kubicek says. (Not to mention lots of farmland.)

“It just made sense for us to be in two locations,” Kubicek says. “Plus, we were founded in Madison, so it’s really great to return to our roots.”

When Xconomy interviewed Kubicek two years ago about the move to Boston, he said Understory needed “a stronger foundation to build what we’re trying to achieve.”

Since then, the environment for startups in Wisconsin has improved, he says. He cites efforts by groups like Gener8tor and the addition of new funding sources as examples.

“It’s getting better,” Kubicek says of Wisconsin’s startup community. “It still has a long way to go. That’s where we think we can help.”

Specifically, Kubicek wants to help Wisconsin attract and retain talent—a fitting mission for the prodigal tech company returning home. Details are still being worked out, but Understory wants to create a data science fellowship program in which it would hire researchers from Wisconsin colleges and universities, Kubicek says.

“There are a lot of people moving out to either coast,” Kubicek says. “We’d like to be one of those companies that helps bring people back to Wisconsin or helps keep people” here.

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