Boulder and Denver Firms Raise $112M From VCs During First Quarter

[Updated 4/25/14. See below.] Venture capital firms invested nearly $112 million into the Boulder/Denver region during the first quarter, an increase of 12 percent from the previous quarter, according to the MoneyTree report of venture investments that was released Friday.

MoneyTree reported a total of 20 deals in the area, which includes Boulder and the Denver metropolitan region, and the numbers might have looked stronger but for a decision by the report’s authors.

The MoneyTree report is published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. It uses data collected from Thomson Reuters.

First, the raw numbers. For Boulder, MoneyTree reported nine deals worth $32.5 million, which is up from six deals worth $8.67 million in the prior quarter. In the first quarter of 2013, there were six deals worth $15.61 million.

In the Denver area, there were 11 deals totaling $79.38 million in the quarter. That’s down from 16 deals worth $90.83 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, but up from the nine deals totaling $51.18 million in the first quarter of last year.

The first-quarter numbers would have looked even better but for the exclusion of one notable deal that didn’t fit MoneyTree’s criteria.

In February, Denver-based health IT firm Welltok raised a $22 million Series C round. It was by far the biggest and most reported deal for an area IT startup, but Thomson Reuters declined to include it in the report.

A representative of Thomson Reuters explained the decision this way:

“Yes, we do have this round on file, but our understanding is that the financing was primarily for the purpose of acquiring Mindbloom, a Seattle-based developer of health-related apps, which was announced the following month,” the representative wrote. “As per the general MoneyTree methodology, investments of this type are not considered MoneyTree-eligible.”

In other words, “investments for which the proceeds are primarily intended for acquisition” are not part of MoneyTree’s methodology. A lengthy, detailed description of that methodology can be found here.

[UPDATE: A representative of Welltok later contacted Xconomy and said the company disagrees with Thomson Reuters’ characterization of the deal. The company said the investment was an equity round primarily used to add new features to Welltok’s CafeWell health optimization platform.]

Notable rounds MoneyTree did feature in the report include Cool Planet Energy Systems’s $50.75 million round. Investors in the Greenwood Village, CO-based biofuels company include Google Ventures, GE Energy Financial Services, and Goldman Sachs.

In Boulder, TeamSnap led the pack, raising $7.53 million in a round led by the Foundry Group. TeamSnap develops software that organizations like sports teams and clubs can use to schedule games and practices. It has a Web-based portal, and TeamSnap is making a major push into mobile.

Also on the Boulder list are Techstars grad Simple Energy, which raised $6 million, Switch Labs (which does business as, which raised $4.83 million, and JumpCloud, which raised $3.1 million.


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