WI Watchlist: EatStreet, Exact Sciences, Northwestern Mutual & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Time to catch up on some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:

EatStreet, the Madison-based online food ordering and delivery startup, plans to expand its service to several additional Wisconsin cities and hire around 300 people in the Badger State, mostly delivery drivers, according to reports by the Wisconsin State Journal and other media outlets. The hiring spree will bring EatStreet’s total headcount to around 1,500 employees.

The announcement follows a regulatory filing in October indicating EatStreet has raised more than $6 million in new venture funding, part of an equity investment that could grow to about $12 million, according to the SEC document.

—Wall Street applauded Exact Sciences’ (NASDAQ: EXAS) third-quarter financial performance and outlook for the rest of the year, sending the Madison-based cancer diagnostics firm’s stock price from $64.40 on Tuesday, when the financial results were released, to more than $71 the following day. Exact reported its quarterly revenue grew 63 percent year-over-year to $118.3 million, thanks to a 49 percent jump in the number of orders of Cologuard, its stool-based test for colorectal cancer. Exact’s net loss grew from $27.1 million in the year-ago quarter to $45.3 million in the third quarter, but the company increased its projected revenue for 2018 to a range of $435 million to $440 million, up from an earlier estimate of $420 million to $430 million.

Exact recently acquired San Diego-based Biomatrica, a seller of equipment for storing blood and saliva samples, and struck a partnership with pharma giant Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to co-promote Cologuard.

—NeuroPointDX, a division of Madison-based Stemina Biomarker Discovery, announced the commercial launch of a blood-based test aimed at helping doctors diagnose autism spectrum disorder earlier. The test is initially available on a limited basis, must be ordered by a doctor, and is not covered by insurance. It has a list price of $1,000. The test has not been evaluated by the FDA, but it has received approval for clinical laboratories in 45 states to administer the test.

Read more about the test and Stemina’s broader strategy in this recent Xconomy story.

—Lastly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an update on Northwestern Mutual’s efforts to enhance its financial services offerings with digital tools. The Milwaukee-based insurance and wealth management giant rolled out an online financial planning product for its customers, which the newspaper reports was influenced in part by Northwestern Mutual’s 2015 acquisition of fintech startup LearnVest. Northwestern Mutual stopped offering LearnVest’s online money management products earlier this year, instead turning it into a free website offering financial advice and other educational resources.