Our 10 favorite investment stories of 2016


Silicon Prairie News covers the tech startup scene across Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Here are our most popular investment stories this year:

1. Flywheel raises $4 million in Series A, led by Five Elms (Omaha)

In April Dusty Davidson’s Flywheel announced the close of a $4 million fundraising round led by Kansas-City based Five Elms Capital. Later in the year the company also announced the acquisition of WordPress application Pressmatic.

2. Drive Spotter secures $750,000 in seed round (Omaha/Des Moines)

Chris Augeri and Andrew Prystai’s vehicle video analytics startup announced the close of their seed round in March. Later in the year the participated in the Techstars Mobility accelerator in Detroit, Michigan.

3. Bugeater Foods awarded $100,000 USDA research grant (Lincoln)

This fall cricket protein startup Bugeater Foods received a significant grant to continue development of their food products. The research will be performed at the Nebraska Innovation Campus in Lincoln.

4. LifeLoop wins $100,000 investment at Rise of the Rest (Omaha/Lincoln)

AOL co-founder Steve Case and his Rise of the Rest tour returned to the region this year with a whirlwind sweep through Omaha and Lincoln startup communities. Amy Johnson’s pitch for her software platform Lifeloop won the closing pitch competition, which included such well known area startups as RaceNote, Quantified Ag and opendorse.

5. EyeVerify sold for $100 million to Alibaba’s Ant Financial (Kansas City)

In likely one of the region’s most significant acquisitions to date, EyeVerify was sold to the operator of Alibaba’s Alipay system. The deal marked a significant payout for the region’s venture community, including Mid America Angels, Flyover Capital and Nebraska Angels.

6. Igor raises $2 million in Series B (Johnston, Iowa)

Iowa’s smart lighting startup Igor reached a total of $6 million in investment this summer. As of August, the company planned to ship its initial commercial product in September.

7. D3 Banking raises $10 million from West Partners (Omaha)

In addition to the $10 million, San Diego based West Partners is providing the company with the right to draw additional equity funding as needed.

8. ABPathfinder acquires Ensure Billing, becomes Pathfinder Health Innovations (Kansas City)

Jeff Blackwood’s startup serving autism-related service providers announced an acquisition and name change this spring. In a move that made national attention Blackwood moved his company from Overland Park, Kansas to Kansas City, Missouri this year in response to decisions made by the State of Kansas.

9. ClaimKit raises $1.8 million, led by Flyover Capital (Leawood, Kansas)

Insurance data analysis startup ClaimKit announced the close of a $1.8 million fundraising round, which included Kansas City investors Flyover Capital and Mid-America Angels.

10. C2FO adds Citi Ventures as a strategic investor (Fairway, Kansas)

C2FO continued its impressive global expansion this year following its raise of $40 million in September of 2015.