Report: Nebraska heading for record venture capital volume | News from local businesses

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Lizz Whitacre, founder of Pawlytics, is shown at the NMotion Demo Day at Rococo Theater in 2018. The company received a $ 500,000 venture capital investment earlier this year, part of the nearly $ 139 million that has already invested in Nebraska startups this year.


Star Diary Photo File


The coronavirus pandemic does not appear to have had much of an effect, if any, on the fundraising prospects of Nebraska startups.

The state’s fledgling companies raised $ 106.7 million in venture capital last year, according to a report from Innosphere Ventures, a science and technology incubator program based in Fort Collins, Colorado.

This is an increase of almost 75% from 2019 and the third highest on record in a year. And that didn’t even include a $ 120 million investment in Hudl, the sports video company, which was classified as a private equity investment rather than a venture capital investment.

As good as the 2020 figure is, it has already been surpassed in the first six months of this year, with Nebraska companies raising $ 138.9 million, according to the report. There is only $ 13 million left to raise in the second half of the year to finish in 2018 for second place all-time. And the best year, 2015, is certainly not out of reach. Companies are expected to raise less than $ 60 million in the last six months of the year to beat the $ 196.2 million raised that year.

“Nebraska has become an increasingly attractive location for investors looking to invest in start-ups,” said the report, written by Innosphere Ventures CEO and General Partner Mike Freeman, with John Smith, another general partner.

The report says the state is poised for increased venture capital activity and startup growth, in large part thanks to public and private efforts to help accelerate the success of high-tech industries.


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