Last year, venture capital firms invested $2.1 billion in the Midwest, the most the region’s received since the peak of the dot-com bubble in 2000. And though 2015 is on pace to fall just shy of 2014’s record numbers, it’s still tracking to be the second best year of the past thirteen. (In fact, there has been more invested in the first three quarters of 2015 ($1.311 billion) than there was in all of 2013 ($1.058 billion).
To showcase the Midwest’s strong year of VC activity, we’ve listed the twenty best venture capital-backed tech deals that occurred in the region in 2015. (Because we’ve already profiled Chicago’s fundings in a separate post, the below investments are in companies headquartered outside of Illinois).
Here’s the Midwest Report for 2015, in order of funding size:
1., 10/6: Minneapolis-based Code42, a provider of data security solutions for the enterprise, raised an $85 million Series B from JMI Equity, with participation from New Enterprise, Accel Partners, and Split Rock Partners. This brought the company’s total funding to more than $137 million.
Explained CEO Joe Payne in a statement, “We protect the most important information for the world’s largest companies; and our record growth is being driven by Code42’s unique approach to security and encryption, dominance protecting Macs in the enterprise and unmatched scalability. This funding enables us to grow even faster in endpoint backup and accelerates our efforts to build analytics and actionable intelligence on top of the historical archive of end-user data.”
2., 4/2: Lincoln, Nebraska-based Hudl, a sports video analytics platform, raised $72.5 million in new funding, co-led by Accel Partners and Nelnet. Jeff Raikes, the ex-president of Microsoft Business and CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is also a backer.
3., 11/12: St. Louis-based Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform for private instructors, raised a $57 million Series B. The round of funding was led by Technology Crossover Ventures, with participation from individual angels such as The Voice’s Adam Levine and education executive Stuart Udell.
Explained founder and CEO Chuck Cohn, “We now have the financial support and resources of world-class Internet investors who can help Varsity Tutors develop its technology and expand access to high-quality, live, video-based expertise on both web and mobile.”
4., 9/29: Ann Arbor-based LLamasoft, a provider of software and services to model supply chain networks, raised a $50 million Series B from affiliates of Goldman, Sachs & Co. According to a release, the investment will be used to “fund numerous technology development and growth initiatives.”
5., 9/10: Plymouth Township-based Delphinus Medical Technologies, a developer of ultrasound technology, raised a $39.5 million Series C. The round was led by Venture Investors, with participation from Hopen Life Science Ventures, Waycross Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, Beringea, and North Coast Technology Investors.
6., 7/28: Indianapolis-based MOBI, a software company, raised $35M from Bregal Sagemount, a New York-based growth equity firm. (Yes, we’re including growth equity firms in this list).
7., 9/15: Indianapolis-based Emarsys, a provider of cloud marketing software, raised a $33 million Series A from Vector Capital.
8., 9/15: Minneapolis-based Field Nation, a marketplace for on-demand workforce management, raised a $30 million round from Susquehanna Growth Equity.
9., 8/24: Cincinnati-based Everything But The House, an online marketplace for estate sales, raised a $30 million Series B from Greenspring Associates, Greycroft Partners and Spark Capital.
10., 6/16: Minneapolis-based LeadPages, a landing page and lead generation platform, raised a $27 million Series B. Drive Capital led the round.
11., 8/24: Ann Arbor-based Avegant, a developer of virtual reality hardware (including the Glyph), raised a $24 million Series B from Lian Luo, The Bunting Family Fund, Intel Capital and NHN Investment.
12., 4/7: Minneapolis0-based Novu, a consumer health engagement platform, raised $20 million in new venture capital funding from SSM Partners and Noro-Moseley Partners.
13., 7/15: Indianapolis-based Scale Computing, a provider of hyper-converged solutions, raised $18M in VC funding from ABS Capital Partners.
14., 3/16: Michigan-based Sakti3, a developer of a solid state battery tech that has much higher energy density, received a $15M investment from Dyson. Seven months later, the vacuum pioneer acquired the startup for $90 million.
15., 12/3: EatStreet, a Madison, Wis.-based restaurant delivery platform focused on small cities, has raised $15 million in Series C funding. 4490 Ventures and Lumia Capital co-led the round, and were joined by GCI Capital, MATH Venture Partners, and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board.
16., 8/25: Madison, Wisconsin-based FluGen, a maker of a “universal” influenza vaccine, raised a $12 million Series A from Venture Investors, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, and Knox LLC.
17., 8/6: Lincoln, Nebraska-based Virtual Incision Corp, a maker of robotically-assisted surgical devices, raised $11.2 million in new VC funding from Bluestem Capital and PrairieGold Venture Partners.
18., 2/27: Ann Arbor-based Pixel Velocity, a data analytics and sensor company, raised a $10 million Series B funding from Draper Triangle Ventures.
19., 11/4: Cincinnati-based LISNR, a provider of communication protocol that sends data over audio, raised a $10 million Series B. The round of funding was led by Intel Capital, with participation from Mercury Fund, Jump Capital, and R/GA Ventures.
20., 5/14: Cincinnati-based Ahalogy, a provider of Pinterest marketing software, raised $8 million in venture capital and debt funding from Silicon Valley Bank & JobsOhio.
And here are some of the region’s notable Mergers and Acquisitions from 2015, in order of date:
3/3: Lafayette, Indiana-based Emerging Threats, a provider of threat intelligence solutions, was acquired by Proofpoint Inc for roughly $40 million in cash and stock.
3/19: Cleveland-based Overdrive, an ebook company, sold to Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, for $410 million.
5/19: Louisville-based The Learning House Inc., a provider of online education solutions for schools and universities, acquired Acatar, a Pittsburgh-based platform for design courses online.
6/5: Plymouth, Michigan-based TierConnect, an internet-of-things platform, has been acquired by Mojox, an LA-based provider of wide area sensor networks. Moljix has raised over $60 million in VC funding. No financial terms were disclosed.
7/23: Cincinnati-based DotLoop, a maker of online software for real estate transactions, was bought by Zillow, a leading real estate database. No terms were disclosed; DotLoop has raised $9.7M in venture funding.