MoneyTree: VC Investment in Boulder/Denver Fell 23 Percent in 2013

1/17/14Follow @MichaelXBD

Venture capital firms invested $404.6 million in companies located in the Boulder/Denver area last year, a 23 percent drop from 2012, according to the quarterly MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

The drop in this region went against the national trend: VCs invested a total of $29.4 billion in 3,995 deals last year, a 7 percent increase in dollars and a 4 percent rise in deals compared with 2012, when VCs put $27.3 billion in 3,858 deals.

The MoneyTree report, which uses data from a Thomson Reuters survey of venture capital firms, also found that 21 local companies raised $89.5 million during the fourth quarter. In the prior quarter, firms raised $110.5 million, and firms raised $86.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Whether the quarter and down year are worth worrying about is debatable. The area is coming off of two solid years—local companies raised $528.4 million in 2012 and $617.6 million in 2011.

Venture deals are dependent on the growth curves of startups, which don’t follow the calendar, and ups and downs of specific industries. This year saw a lack of big investments in cleantech companies, which helped boost the amount of deals and investment in the past few years.

The biggest local deal in the fourth quarter was Sympoz’s $35 million Series C round. The Denver-based company is best known for its Craftsy website, which publishes instructional videos about arts and crafts.

Other tech startups that raised sizable rounds include:

-Convercent, a Denver-based startup that raised $10 million in a debt-and-equity round. Convercent is developing cloud-based software that companies can use to track employee compliance with corporate policies and monitor their corporate culture. Of the $10 million, $7.2 million was equity, MoneyTree said.

-Revolv, a Boulder-based startup that raised a $4 million Series A round. The Techstars graduate recently released its first product, a “smart hub” that connects home automation devices such as smart thermostats, stereos, and light switches. Revolv’s smart hub allows users to control devices from different manufacturers with their smartphones.

-Seamless Toy, a Boulder-based startup that raised a $2.1 million Series A round. It makes kits that kids can use to assemble toy robots, and its round includes an investment from Elevation Partners, a Silicon Valley-based VC firm best known for having U2 lead singer Bono as a managing director.

-MobileDay, a Boulder-based startup that raised $1.5 million. The company makes an app that simplifies the process of connecting to conference calls and video conferences. Its enterprise software helps companies find the cheapest way to connect to a conference provider.

Michael Davidson is the editor of Xconomy Boulder/Denver. He covers startups, venture capital, clean tech, energy, aerospace, telecoms, and whatever else happens above 5,280 feet. Contact him at mdavidson@xconomy.com. Follow @MichaelXBD

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