Friday, February 3, 2012

More Venture Dollars Find RI in 4th Quarter

Venture capital investments in New England rose to $774 million invested in 116 companies in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the MoneyTree Report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters.. 

Five of those companies are in Rhode Island, netting a total of $3,032,000.  Over the entire year, venture investments in Rhode Island companies totalled $40,383,000.

While investment levels in Rhode Island companies are improving, they still have not reached levels of a decade ago. The high mark was in 2000, when over $100 million was invested in 11 Rhode Island companies. In 2001, venture capital investments in Rhode Island companies totalled $46.9 million for the entire year. 

Nationally, venture capitalists invested $6.566 billionin 844 deals in the fourth quarter, and a total of $28.4 billion in 3673 deals for the entire year.  This represents an increase of 22% in dollars and a 4% rise in deals over 2010.  The Software, Biotechnology and Medical Device sectors received the most investment dollars for the year.  Internet companies scored their highest level of investment over the past decade, with $6.9 billion being invested in 997 deals.

Locally, the five companies to receive investments are
  • VCharge, Inc., of Cranston, a company that offers scalable, rapid-response energy storage for the electric grid, received $1,782,000 in early stage funding from the State's Slater Technology Fund and the Clean Energy Venture Group.
  • GreenBytes, Inc., of Ashaway, a more established company, received $1,150,000 from an undisclosed investor.  GreenBytes makes hardware and software that IT operations teams use to store and protect huge amounts of data, and develops deduplication data storage solutions.
  • Alektrona Corporation, of Providence, received $100,000 from the Slater Technology Fund.  Alektrona specializes in networking smart energy devices and applications.
  • Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Providence, a biotechnology company that is developing therapeutic products to treat schizophrenia and other cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders, also received an investment from the Slater Technology Fund.
  • Tracelytics, of Providence, a company that provides performance analysis and diagnostic services for web applications, received seed investments from Battery Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, and Google Ventures.
Let's hope 2012 brings many more investment dollars to Rhode Island!

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