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SPN’s biggest success stories of 2017

2017 was another big year for growth in the Silicon Prairie. The last twelve months brought countless announcements from startups championing multi-million dollar raises, acquisitions, partnerships, buildouts, hires and mergers.

Organizations that support startups and entrepreneurship across the region had huge wins in 2017. Nebraska Angels’ investments were higher than any previous year, Missouri established a $5 million seed-stage fund and Pipeline was awarded a $2.087 million grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

We’re proud of our community and the companies, organizations and innovators who call it home. While we look ahead to what’s in store for 2018, let’s take a look back at SPN’s biggest success stories of 2017:

1. Bulu Marketplace acquired for an undisclosed amount while Bulu Box expands turnkey subscription box solutions
Bulu Marketplace, a division of Lincoln-based startup Bulu Box, was acquired for an undisclosed amount by an international company building its retail portfolio of software services.

2. Hurrdat and Hail Varsity announce strategic partnership
In April, two recognizable names from Nebraska’s startup community joined forces. Social media marketing firm Hurrdat and Hail Varsity, a media company providing Husker-focused content, announced their strategic partnership.

3. opendorse announces close of Series A funding
Lincoln startup opendorse, a leading athlete marketing platform that helps athletes share content on social media, announced its close of $3.5mm in a Series A financing round.

4. Buildertrend unveils new West Omaha headquarters
Buildertrend unveiled their new headquarters at an open house that welcomed roughly 800 clients, friends and associates from across the Silicon Prairie.

5. Benson Hill Biosystems closes Series B funding with $25M
St. Louis-based Benson Hill Biosystems announced the close of a Series B funding round at $25 million.

6. Hudl secures $30M in recent fundraising round
Sports tech company Hudl announced that it secured $30 million in funding through a round led by existing investors including Accel, Jeff and Tricia Raikes, and Nelnet.

7. The Bay and Hear Nebraska merge to form Rabble Mill
The two non-profit organizations led by childhood friends Mike Smith and Andrew Norman – The Bay and Hear Nebraska – joined forces in a new venture called Rabble Mill.

8. Dundee Venture Capital adds new partner John Jenkins, raises $31M
John Jenkins joined Dundee Venture Capital as a member of the general partnership in March, just as the company was setting out to begin investing its $31 million, third (and largest ever) fund.

9. blabfeed announces acquisition by Osni Ponca
blabfeed, a digital signage startup led by Keith Fix-Knudsen, was acquired today by the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.

10. Firespring’s PaymentSpring acquired by Nelnet
PaymentSpring, a payment processing gateway developed by Lincoln’s Firespring, was acquired by another familiar name in the community, Nelnet.

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