A record $300 million was invested in Wisconsin ventures last year, as maturing businesses pulled in larger funding rounds. But a continued decrease in the number of firms raising their first outside capital could signal trouble for the state’s pipeline of budding startups.
Those are some of the key takeaways from the latest Wisconsin Portfolio, an annual report produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The publication, which was released this month, tends to provide a more comprehensive analysis of yearly Badger State venture capital activity than some national reports, although it’s not infallible. The data come primarily from news articles and other published reports, SEC filings, and company surveys. But since most of the companies involved in venture deals are privately held, they aren’t required to disclose information.
The report generally mirrors what’s been happening nationwide: Investors are pumping more money into fewer companies. The Tech Council found 121 Wisconsin companies raised $301.2 million last year. The original total was $280.7 million. But after the report was published, Shine Medical Technologies and Goods Unite Us contacted the Tech Council with updated figures that bumped up their companies’ investment rounds last year by $20 million and $470,000, respectively, says Bram Daelemans, who directs the Tech Council’s Investor Networks and leads the Wisconsin Portfolio’s production. (See the list of top 2018 deals below.) Read the full story here.