MoneyTree Reports $121M in MI Venture Deals Last Quarter

Venture Capital investors had a very active second quarter of 2014, according to the latest MoneyTree report. VCs invested almost $13 billion in 1,114 U.S. startups during the second quarter, which is the highest level of VC funding in 13 years.

Michigan also had a banner quarter for VC activity, with $121 million invested in 11 deals. That’s a huge increase from the second quarter of 2013, when MoneyTree reported just $5 million in venture capital invested in 18 deals. It also represents an increase from the first quarter of 2014, when MoneyTree reported $37.6 million invested in 14 deals.

Carrie Jones, the executive director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, says she’s pleased with the numbers from the second quarter. “If you look at where we were last year, Michigan companies have received six times what they did at the same point in 2013,” Jones says. “Last year was a little slower for us, but 2014 has been a great year so far.”

Jones says despite national trends to the contrary, biotech is still a hot sector in Michigan, drawing millions in VC investment each year. Michigan’s IT sector has also shown “tremendous growth” in 2014, Jones says, and she expects to see more growth in this sector before the year is over.

Here’s a breakdown of the Michigan deals highlighted in the MoneyTree report:

ProNAi Therapeutics: Far and away the biggest deal of the quarter, the Plymouth-based biopharmaceutical startup snagged $59.5 million from Adams Street Partners, Apjohn Ventures, Capital Midwest Fund, Frazier Healthcare, Grand Angels, Hopen Life Science Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors, RA Capital Management, Vivo Capital, and Sectoral Asset Management. In April, ProNAi CEO Mina Sooch told Xconomy that its novel drug PNT2258, currently undergoing Phase 2 clinical testing, was shown to be effective at shrinking cancerous tumors and keeping them that way. Unlike most other cancer drugs, Sooch said, PNT2258 is also non-toxic, doesn’t cause hair loss or weight loss, and doesn’t cause anemia.

Crowdrise: The Royal Oak-based website that aims to make crowdfunding for charitable causes fun, raised $23 million from Creative Artists Agency, Index Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures.

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing: Based on the campus of Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing specializes in pre-clinical, clinical and commercial manufacturing. The startup raised $9.8 million from undisclosed investors.

Histosonics: The University of Michigan spinout startup, based in Ann Arbor, is developing a no n-invasive, non-thermal therapy for the treatment of prostate disease. Histosonics raised $2 million from Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, and Venture Investors.

Atterocor: The Ann Arbor-based biotech startup developing a novel drug to treat adrenal cancer received $6.4 million from 5AM Ventures and Frazier Management.

SirionLabs: Based in Troy, SirionLabs is a software development startup working on supplier management applications. The company raised $4.7 million from Sequoia Capital.

Axonia Medical: Kalamazoo-based Axonia Medical, focused on tissue-engineered nerve grafts, received $3.3 million from the SWMF Life Science Venture Fund.

Algal Scientific: Algal Scientific, a Northville-based startup focused on improving animal feed and human nutrition, as well as wastewater treatment, raised $3 million from Evonik Industries, Formation 8 Partners, and Independence Equity Management.

Are You A Human: The Detroit-based startup developing game-based online authentication tools received $1.8 million from Detroit Venture Partners.

Pixel Velocity: Based in Ann Arbor, Pixel Velocity is developing system-level video surveillance and threat detection software. The company raised $902,000 from undisclosed investors.

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