Colorado Startups Raise $151M in Q2 as National VC Investments Surge

The amount venture capitalists are betting on startups is approaching highs last seen during the dot-com era, and Colorado’s emerging companies continue to hold their own.

Colorado companies raised $150.8 million from venture capital firms during the second quarter, according to the MoneyTree report that was released Friday. The amount is nearly a 34 percent increase from the $112.8 million raised in the first quarter and a 26 percent increase from the $119.7 million raised in the second quarter of 2013.

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

Nationally, venture capital investors pumped almost $13 billion into 1,114 U.S. startups in the second quarter. That’s the most money in any quarter in the past 13 years.

Colorado companies didn’t fly quite as high. The quarter saw a healthy bump in the amount invested, but the number of deals in the state dropped from 22 in the first quarter to 20 in the second.

Companies located in the metropolitan Denver area raised $102.1 million during the quarter, up 28 percent from the $79.6 million raised in the first quarter and up nearly 13 percent from the $90.6 million raised in the second quarter of 2013. There were 10 deals in the area.

There were nine deals involving Boulder-based companies. Collectively, they raised $40.9 million, up almost 26 percent from the $32.5 million raised in the prior quarter and up 63 percent from the $25.1 million raised in the second quarter of 2013.

The twentieth deal was the $7.8 million raised by Loveland-based VanDyne SuperTurbo, which makes fuel efficient engines.

Breaking the numbers out by industry showed that software companies led the way. Of the 19 deals in Denver and Boulder, 9 involved software companies, which raised $44 million. That’s keeping with national trends that saw VCs bet the most on software companies.

Early and expansion-stage companies received the most attention, with eight deals taking place in each category. Early stage companies raised $41.5 million, while expansion-stage companies raised $42.9 million. MoneyTree found that three later-stage deals raised a total of $52.3 million, with Datalogix’s $45.3 million round making up the lion’s share.

Here are the details of the five biggest deals:

1. Datalogix, a Westminster-based company, raised $45.3 million from General Catalyst Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, and an undisclosed firm. Datalogix compiles and analyzes consumer data and works with advertisers to determine if their campaigns lead to purchases. Clients include Facebook, Google, and 77 of the top 100 advertisers, according to Ad Age.

2. Galvanize, a Denver-based company, raised an $18 million Series A round that was led by University Ventures. The company runs co-working campuses in Colorado and San Francisco. Money from the round will be used to build more campuses and to expand its gSchool for computer programmers.

3. Orbotix, a Boulder-based company and Techstars grad, raised $15.5 million from the Foundry Group, Grishin Robotics, and J.F. Shea. Orbotix is developing robotic connected toys such as the Sphero robotic ball and Ollie. The toys are controlled by smartphones and tablets.

4. ProtectWise, a Denver-based company, raised $14.1 million in a round led by Trinity Ventures. ProtectWise is in stealth mode, but it will create cloud-based network security software. Its CEO is Scott Chasin, who co-founded MX Logic, which was a Colorado-based network security company that McAfee bought for $140 million in 2009.

5. Breakthrough Products, a Denver-based company, raised $11.9 million in a round led by an undisclosed firm. The company makes over-the-counter medicine that is sold under the UrgentRx brand name.

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