Minnesota’s tech ventures raised over $145 million last year

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At least 87 Minnesota tech ventures fundraised in excess of $145 million dollars last year, according to information collected and analyzed from Jan – Dec 2012.

The data includes on the record deals, whereas the actual numbers are estimated to be 25%+ higher according to many active investors who are not inclined to disclose their investment activity publicly.

Nonetheless, it’s a solid proxy of the local funding market activity and trends.  As a comparison — in 2011 63 ventures raised $126m and in 2010 that figure was around 42 / $60m.  There’s less of an “innovation contraction” in Minnesota and more of vibrant market for startups and investors, according to the facts.

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Echobit closes on $350k funding round

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Evolve

Minneapolis startup Echobit has recently closed a $350k ‘Angel II’ round of equity financing for the expansion of core gaming product Evolve, according to co founder and CEO Adam Sellke.

Evolve is pioneering an open communication and collaboration platform for multiplayer gamers, starting with PC-based games. 

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Funding trail evolves towards ‘the inevitable’ for this Minneapolis startup

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evolve

Minneapolis startup Echobit is raising $350k to finance the expansion of core product and gaming startup Evolve, according to a disclosure recently filed with the SEC.

Co founded in 2006 by Adam Sellke, Soren Dreijer and Michael Amundson, the venture appears to be gearing up for a Series A round, having raised an approximate $500k to date. 

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Echobit’s Social Network for Online Gamers is Evolving

sourced

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Via News Release

“Today, Echobit, LLC announces the release of its next generation social network and toolset for gamers, called Evolve. After an exciting 8 months in closed beta (and adding 8,000 members along the way), the three-person startup has quietly built a platform that maximizes the reach and influence of gamers’ and the games they play within the rapidly expanding, increasingly disconnected video game universe.”

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More Minnesota Tech Startups Raising More Angel Money

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Minnesota Angel InvestorsAs the amount of 2011 tax credits ($12m) available through the Minnesota Angel Investor Tax Credit (AITC) program came to a halt last month, DEED was quick to update a final list of which companies had received what for the year.

The program, created in May, 2010, offers qualified angels (and funds) — whether from Minnesota or not — with a 25% refundable tax credit on investments made towards certified local startups.

At the half, roughly 17 tech companies had seen some $5.5m in investment capital through the program, with approximately .75 cents on every dollar going into ‘high tech’ ventures (IT, SaaS, web, mobile, telecom, etc.) at the time.

With this new data made available,  many startups have gained under AITC since we last looked:

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24 Minnesota Tech Ventures Raised over $34m in Q3 2011

by Zach Robins

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According to TECHdotMN’s quarterly investment review, at least 24 Minnesota technology firms received investment capital during the months of July, August, and September of 2011.

 

 

 

Total funding for the period was approximately $34.5m and was largely impacted by Consumer Agent Portal’s $18m round.  The second largest raise of $5m was received by RedBrick Health, followed by TST Media’s $3.5m Series B led by El Dorado Ventures. The remaining 21 companies raised roughly $8m combined.

The number of transactions increased by 30% over last quarter, while the aggregate funding volume was on par, indicating a decrease in average transaction size.

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Updated: 19 Minnesota Tech Ventures Raised $35m in Q2 2011

by Zach Robins

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Minnesota-tech-fundings

According to our 2011 second quarter analysis, at least 17 19 early stage Minnesota technology firms received investment capital during April, May and June.

 

Updated 8/4/11: Three additions to our Q2 2011 Minnesota tech investment analysis:

Roughly $26.5m $35m in funding was attributed to Minnesota’s high tech sector, largely skewed by health IT firm Ability Network’s $20m round $27m round.  Ability’s raise was the largest tech deal Minnesota has seen since January 2010, when Cymbet raked in $31m for thin film rechargeable batteries. The remaining 16 18 startups raised roughly $6.5m $8m combined, for an average round of $405k $445k.

When contrasted against last quarter’s analysis, both the number of transactions (-15%) (-10%) and the aggregate funding volume are down (-30%) (-8%), although the average deal size is up slightly.

This analysis supports the full spectrum of financing ($25k+), regardless of stage or definition (angel, seed, series A etc.) and many startups are currently fundraising. While we attempt to compile the most complete set of data, it remains imperfect as unreported transactions occur.

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Minnesota Angel Tax Credit at the Half: Over 17 Early-Stage High Tech Ventures Are Fed $5.5m in Funding

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masterpieceOnce again, legacy media has used the broad brush of sweeping generalizations to paint another sloppy picture of the funding activity in Minnesota’s startup community.

“But it’s one [ecosystem] that remains starved of oxygen — money. Until we get more investors chasing ideas in Minnesota…”  says the author, citing one startup’s tale that apparently represents an entire marketplace.

While it may be fair to suggest that money doesn’t chase entrepreneurial ideas around here,  the claim of starvation is patently false.  As we’ve consistently reported since day one (and recently summarized [2]), money does exist and it has a tendency of gravitating towards those ideas which are executed on.

As a counterbalance to the mainstream misinformation, we offer quantifiable evidence from one timely source that speaks to the contrary:  investor tax credits allocated through the first half of 2011 under Minnesota’s 25% angel investor tax credit program. This single source does not account for the numerous transactions conducted outside the scope of tax credits, nor unreported deals — such as a friends and family round — which usually happen when plans are still conceptual.

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Over $60m Raised by Minnesota High Tech Ventures in 2010

by Zach Robins

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moneytreeDespite a year’s worth of articles bemoaning the condition of U.S. venture capital investing (see here and here and here), venture capital firms invested $21.8 billion nationally in 2010 (3,277 total investments), according to the National Venture Capital Association & PwC’s annual MoneyTree report.

This represents a 19% increase in dollars invested over 2009.

Minnesota’s 2010 story ends quite differently. Cross-sector startups raised a collective $140 million, marking a 48% drop from 2009, and the lowest Minnesota amount since the MoneyTree reporting began 15 years ago.

For 2010, TECHdotMN documents 42 unique high tech deals (IT, SaaS, web/mobile, digital media, hardware, telecom), totaling in excess of $60m invested in Minnesota-based technology companies throughout last year. Excluding Cymbet’s $31m round, 36 different ventures raised approximately $30m combined in 2010, or $857k per average round, according to the data.*

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