Wisconsin firms raised more than $125 million in venture and angel funding in the first nine months of 2010, eclipsing totals in each of the past two years, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Angel Network.
The annual “Wisconsin Portfolio” report tracks early stage investment deals in Wisconsin, including deals involving organized angel networks and funds, early stage venture capital funds and individual angel investors whose investments are informally charted.
In 2009, total early stage investing captured by the report was $73.2 million, with $22.1 million invested by angel networks and funds in 56 deals. In 2008, total investments were $99 million with $15 million invested by angel networks and funds in 53 deals.
The total through the first three quarters of 2010 was driven by a few larger deals. Leading the pack are Virent Energy Systems’ $46.4 million funding round and Cellular Dynamics Inc. with a $40.6 million equity infusion. However, angel networks and funds continue to invest in deals that range in size from $235,000 to $6 million – with larger deals often reflecting co-investment by multiple investment groups.
“Wisconsin’s early stage investing numbers, especially in deals involving angel networks, continue to rise at a time when other states and regions are continuing to struggle,” said Lorrie Keating Heinemann, secretary of the state Department of Financial Institutions and chairwoman of the Wisconsin Angel Network’s advisory committee. “It demonstrates that Wisconsin is doing a lot of things right – from the growth of its angel networks to its investor tax credits to the simple fact it has the entrepreneurial talent needed to grow successful companies.”
More detail about Wisconsin’s risk capital market is available in the 2010 Wisconsin Portfolio. Published by WAN, the Wisconsin Technology Council and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, the report focuses on early and later stage capital trends and processes. It is compiled with multiple data sources, including national reports, a report by NorthStar Economics prepared for the Tech Council, and internal tracking by WAN and the Midwest co-Investment Network.
Features include a summary of Wisconsin’s tech economy strengths, information on Wisconsin’s early stage investment scene, selected 2009-2010 deals, historic investment data, an investor resource guide, a locator map for Wisconsin’s angel networks and funds, and “Why Wisconsin” features on entrepreneurs who have attracted private equity investments.