Funding for Massachusetts Startups Slower, but Still Strong, in August; Early-Stage Deals Predominate

9/14/09Follow @bbuderi

The pace of everything in Massachusetts seems to slow in August, and startup financings were not an exception this year. But despite the tail off from July’s big deal-making surge, investments in Bay State startups looked pretty good last month. All told, VCs pumped $179.2 million into 21 deals, according to data provided to Xconomy by ChubbyBrain, a New York-based information services company developing tools for investors, startups, and aspiring entrepreneurs. And while the August tally was below the $215 million and 25 deals seen in July, it was nicely above June’s total of $139.5 million invested in 15 deals—and has to be seen as more evidence that the economy is on the rebound.

The biggest venture deal of the month was a $29 million Series D round for Gloucester Pharmaceuticals. The money came at a great time for the cancer drug developer and its investors: in early September, just a few weeks after the round closed, Gloucester’s drug for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, romidepsin, was recommended for approval by the FDA’s cancer drug panel. A bit behind Gloucester in deal size was MIT Media Lab spinout iWalk, which took in $20 million in a Series B round. iWalk is developing an actively powered prosthetic ankle and foot. The stars also aligned for Constellation Pharmaceuticals, which had the month’s third biggest deal, a $17.2 million Series A-II infusion. All three companies are based in Cambridge.

You can find a table of all August Bay State venture deals on the second page of this post. There was only one debt financing deal in the month, a $360,000ish deal for BigBad, a Boston web development company. That compared to four debt financings last month.ChubbyAugust09BostonCharts

Other highlights from the August ChubbyBrain data:

—The 21 venture investments ran the gamut from early- to late-stage deals, but once again the majority involved earlier rounds, with one seed stage deal, six Series A financings, and … Next Page »

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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