MoneyTree Report: Florida’s Venture Dollars on Track to Surpass 2015

October 14, 2016

Florida’s startup and expanding companies so far this year have raised $1 billion in venture capital and angel investments, more than double 2015’s total of $459.89 million, according to a MoneyTree Report released Friday.

While on track for the best year since 2000, Florida companies’ venture capital during the third quarter is less than 1 percent of the total. During the quarter ending Sept. 30, 18 companies raised $92.76 million, compared with 13 companies raising $182 million for the third quarter in 2015.

From January to September, 57 companies have raised $1.05 billion compared with 61 companies raising $459.9 million during last year. The MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers is based on data from Thomson Reuters.

“Florida is going in a good direction,” said Darach Chapman, partner in the deals practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Miami. “We’re seeing an increase in number of deals and investments in early stage opportunities. That says to me we’re generating more quality opportunities and ideas in the state.”

While investment dollars are up, Chapman said the average in quarterly deals also is at the “highest run rate in the last 15 years.”

In South Florida, the largest amount of venture capital, $40 million, was raised by PodiCare Services, a provider of wound management services in Hollywood that is also known as Woundtech. The investment was from Aldrich Capital Partners in Bethesda, Md.

Other big venture capital deals in the region included:

  • Biopharmaceutical company Altor BioScience in Miramar raised $14.2 million from an undisclosed investor.
  • Hosting service Nymbus in Miami Beach raised $12 million from an undisclosed investor.
  • Cybersecurity company Zenedge raised $6.2 million from Pilot Growth Equity Partners, TELUS Ventures and other undisclosed firms.
  • Financial services company Iatai Enterprises in Boca Raton raised $5 million from Lafise Investment Management.
  • Fort Lauderdale-based Vigilant Biosciences, which has developed products for early detection of oral cancer, raised $1.76 million during the quarter. Vigilant, founded in 2012, has raised a total of $12.5 million in financing, including a $5 million round in the second quarter.

Statewide, 10 of the third-quarter investments were in early-stage companies, while two were in the expansion stage and one in a later stage of development.

Nationwide, venture capitalists invested $10.6 billion in 891 deals in the third quarter of 2016. Dollars and deals were down 36 percent and 25 percent, respectively, during the third quarter compared with a year ago, according to the report.

San Francisco-based, short-term lodging business Airbnb was the top deal in the quarter, raising $556 million from an undisclosed firm. Including Airbnb, there were 10 “mega-deals” of $100 million or more.

This is the 11th consecutive quarter of more than $10 billion in venture capital invested in a single quarter, and the second time the deal count has dropped below 1,000 since the first quarter of 2013.

“The decline in venture capital activity this quarter is part of the normalization process that is expected after a quarter in which record-breaking investments dominated headlines,” said Tom Ciccolella, U.S. venture capital market leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Source: Sun Sentinel

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