March was a big month for little deals—at least when it comes to investing in New England’s startups.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the venture investing deals worth $1 million and up for March, which totaled to $194.5 million across 17 deals, according to data provided to us by private company intelligence platform CB Insights. That made March the slowest month this year for $1 million-plus deals, but at the other end of the spectrum New England companies inked 16 deals under $1 million, by far the biggest list this year. (There were 10 such “under-the-radar” deals on the January list, and nine on February’s.)
Not only did the number of under-the-radar transactions increase in March, so did the proportion of them that were based in equity. March’s list had a dozen equity-based transactions, and four debt-related financings. As far as February under-the-radar deals go, there were five equity-based transactions, three debt-based fundings, and one sale of securities to be acquired through the exercise of options and warrants.
We like to look at our under-the-radar list as helping to paint a richer, more complete picture of startup investing in the region, and I think March’s list revealed that the startup investing for the month was much more diverse than one would conclude from the $1 million-plus deals. The healthcare industry accounted for more than half of the big-dollar deals, and nearly 75 percent of the total money invested, but the under-the-radar list includes companies working in a vast array of sectors. In addition to the few medical device and health IT companies, March’s under-the-radar list included companies in online learning, marketing automation and customization, solar energy, energy auditing, water treatment, and mobile travel guides.
Also, for the first time this year, Massachusetts companies didn’t take the majority of New England’s smaller transactions. Connecticut took the top spot with seven deals, and Massachusetts followed with six. (My allegiances are conflicted here; I’m a Connecticut native but have been in the Bay State for about five years.) Two startups grabbed under-the-radar funding in New Hampshire, and Vermont inked … Next Page »
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