MoneyTree Report: Q3 Venture Activity in Detroit Strongest Ever

Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor — 

According to MoneyTree Report data released today by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Detroit had its strongest quarter in venture activity since the firm began tracking the data in 1995. In the third quarter of 2012, there were five deals worth a whopping $106.3 million, according to the report.

One has to go all the way back to the second quarter of 2000 to find a quarter that comes close in venture activity; Q2 of 2000 reported five deals worth only $61.7 million. This is very positive news, especially in light of an overall national decline in venture investment.

By comparison, during the second quarter of 2012, there was just one deal worth $200,000. The third quarter of 2011 had three deals worth $21.8 million.

The third-quarter deals in Detroit are:

Protean Electric is a Troy-based company that has developed an in-wheel electric drive system for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric light-duty vehicles. GSR Ventures, which has offices in China and Silicon Valley, Oak Investment Partners, with offices in Minnesota, Connecticut, and California, and undisclosed investors put $72.6 million into the company. This deal also landed on the list of the national top-ten deals of the quarter, the first time a Michigan company has been on the list in months

EcoMotors, the Allen Park-based company manufacturing a fuel-efficient opposing cylinder, opposing piston engine, snagged $32.5 million in investment from New York-based Braemar Energy Ventures, Menlo Park, CA-based Khosla Ventures, and undisclosed investors.

DeNovo Sciences, the Plymouth-based startup that won the 2011 Accelerate Michigan competition grand prize for its microfluidic-based platform technology that can detect circulating tumor cells earlier and with greater sensitivity than standard biopsy approaches, scored a $1 million investment from Ann Arbor SPARK and an undisclosed investor.

Quikkly, the Detroit-based online deals startup, got $200,000 from Ann Arbor SPARK and an undisclosed investor.

Ferndale-based Livio Radio was also on the list, but no information was given about the amount of money invested by Rhode Island-based Angel Street Capital, Northcoast Technology Investors, and undisclosed investors. In August, Xconomy reported that Livio completed its Series C round for an undisclosed amount with Angel Street, Michigan-based Beringea, Northcoast, and First Step Fund, and Silicon Valley-based Western Technology Investment participating in the round.

The MoneyTree Report is compiled by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the NVCA, using data from Thomson Reuters.