shows strong funding for 2013
his year is shaping up to be as friendly to Colorado tech entrepreneurs as 2012. According to Built In Denver, the local online organization that tracks such things, 56 tech firms — including 44 startups — raised more than $162 million to push their businesses forward in the first half of 2013.
The group also reported that more than $264 million was collectively generated by companies cashing out through acquisitions and other exit paths. Nine area tech companies exited in the first half of the year, eight of which were acquired.
The exits include Boulder-based Rally Software, which went public on the NYSE in April. At the time of its IPO, the Agile project management software company reportedly had a valuation of more than $400 million. Shares were initially offered for $14.00 and are now trading in the $25 range.
According to Built In Denver, 122 digital startup firms were launched in 2012 and more than $500 million in funding was raised for tech-related businesses. Nearly 70 firms raised $1 million or more.
Some highlights of the “2012 Digital Startup Report”:
- Entrepreneurs launched 122 digital technology startups; another 20 companies were acquired
- Colorado tech companies raised a total of $502 million in funding in 2012
- Denver companies raised $280 million; Boulder companies raised $197 million
- More than 47 investors in Colorado digital companies were from outside of the state
- 78% of investment went to software and business-to-business web-focused digital companies
- 69 companies secured venture or angel funding of at least $1 million
Much of the investment came from Boulder-based Foundry Group, led by renowned area entrepreneur Brad Feld.
“Colorado has developed into a state that every investor should watch,” says Feld, who acts as managing director of the Foundry Group. “Our startup communities and economy are thriving and the companies being created here are awesome.”
Among the largest fundraisers was SendGrid, which attracted $21.6 million of investment in 2012. With offices in Denver and Boulder, the company provides cloud-based e-mail services. According to CEO Jim Franklin, “the funds we raised last year gave us the ability to scale our business to meet growing global demand and aggressively accelerate hiring and invest in our product, developer relations and customer support.”
Built In Denver was started in 2012 as an online community and a platform to connect, educate and promote digital entrepreneurs in Denver. It is chaired by Erik Mitisek, who also serves as CEO of the Colorado Technology Association.
“The spotlight on Colorado’s digital technology economy is shining bright, as government, media, large corporations, major universities and investors from around the country are taking notice — and now we have the data to prove it,” says Mitisek.
Kristin Russell, Colorado Secretary of Technology & Chief Information Officer, agrees. “Colorado is truly becoming the innovation center and ‘Silicon Mountain of the Information Technology Community’ in the United States,” she says.