Angel investors stay committed to state firms

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
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Posted by of Insight Publications

A soft economy isn’t keeping investors away from up-and-coming Wisconsin companies.

During the first nine months of 2010, Wisconsin firms raised more than $125 million in venture and angel funding. That’s more than what was raised in all of 2008 and 2009.

The Wisconsin Angel Network recently released Wisconsin Portfolio, a new report that looks at early stage investment deals in Wisconsin, whether they’re from organized angel networks and funds, early stage venture capital funds or individual angel investors.

Kimberly’s Aurizon Ultrasonics, a spin-off from Kimberly-Clark Corp., is one of the companies profiled in the report.

In 2009, total early stage investing captured by the report was $73.2 million, with $22.1 million invested by angel networks and funds in 56 deals. In 2008, total investments were $99 million with $15 million invested by angel networks and funds in 53 deals.

The total through the first three quarters of 2010 was driven by a few larger deals.  Leading the pack are Virent Energy Systems’ $46.4 million funding round and Cellular Dynamics Inc. with a $40.6 million equity infusion. However, angel networks and funds continue to invest in deals that range in size from $235,000 to $6 million – with larger deals often reflecting co-investment by multiple investment groups.