Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Venture Investment Dollars in RI Companies Soar in 2012

Venture capital investments in New England rose to $790 million invested in 114 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.

Four of those companies are in Rhode Island, netting a total of $35,599,900.  Over the entire year, venture investments in Rhode Island companies totaled over $106 million, a huge increase over the $43.3 million invested in RI companies in 2011.

While investment levels in Rhode Island companies are improving, they are just starting to reach 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.

At the same time, investment levels across the U.S.are on the decline.  Nationally, venture capitalists invested $6.4 billion in 968 deals in the fourth quarter, and a total of $26.5 billion in 3698 deals for the entire year.  This represents a decrease of 10% in dollars and a 6% decrease in deals over 2011.  The Software, Biotechnology and Medical Device sectors received the most investment dollars for the year.  Internet companies scored their second highest level of investment since 2001, with $6.7 billion being invested in 976 deals.

Locally, the four companies to receive investments in the fourth quarter of 2012 are: 

    Illuminoss Medical, Inc. of East Providence, a company that is developing minimally invasive solutions for the stabilization and treatment of bone fractures, received an expansion investment from Foundation Medical Partners.
    The NanoSteel Company, of Providence, received $10,000,000 in investments from EnerTech Capital and Fairhaven Capital Partners.  The NanoSteel Company develops nano-structured steel alloys designed to deliver superior performance.
    PreCision Dermatology Inc., of Cumberland, received $25,599,900 in expansion investments from Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, Frazier Healthcare, Longitude Capital Associates L.P., and NovaQuest Capital Management LLC.  PreCision Dermatology is developing innovative therapies to physicians and patients that demonstrably improve the skin.
    TranslateAbroad Inc., of Providence, a company that provides a mobile application that allows users to point their phone camera at any Chinese text (like a food menu) and receive real-time translations, received an early stage investment from 500 Startups L.P.
Let's hope 2013 continues the upward trend of more investment dollars to Rhode Island!

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