Funding Roundup for the Week of Oct. 28
Two Silicon Prairie companies will be moving to Buffalo in the upcoming weeks, thanks to a program created by 43North. The program announced seven winning companies last week – including Strayos (St. Louis) and Peanut Butter (Chicago). As part of the program, both companies must move their CEO and a majority of staff to Buffalo….
Two Silicon Prairie companies will be moving to Buffalo in the upcoming weeks, thanks to a program created by 43North. The program announced seven winning companies last week – including Strayos (St. Louis) and Peanut Butter (Chicago). As part of the program, both companies must move their CEO and a majority of staff to Buffalo.
Beyond that downer, there is some good news in the Prairie. Ascent and Virtual Incision had big rounds, and overall bioscience led the way for the region for another week. In addition, the Prairie had another African-American led team in CurlMix receive significant early stage funding. So, while losing two great companies is sad, others appear to be growing in their wake.
Large Rounds (10+ million)
Ascent – $19.3 million – Chicago – Ascent helps companies automate and complete regulatory filings to comply with government rules. It is particularly useful in a dynamic environment where regulatory rules and filing requirements evolve. From the company’s press release announcing its financing: ““Keeping up with regulation is mission-critical for businesses,” said Brian Clark, Founder and CEO of Ascent. “While digital transformation of the enterprise is happening everywhere, compliance has been largely left behind, which is unthinkable considering the risk involved in compliance work. We are thrilled to partner with our Series B investors to help customers achieve certainty in their compliance operations, and we’re excited to advance Ascent’s mission to reduce the cost of compliance and protect the rule of law.” – https://www.ascentregtech.com/blog/ascent-raises-series-b-round/
Virtual Incision – $10.1 million – Lincoln – Virtual Incision has created minimally invasive surgical devices – particularly targeted at surgeries of the abdomen. The company’s round was led by Prairie Gold Capital and Bluestem Capital, both of South Dakota. We wrote an article about them in August. http://siliconprairienews.com/2019/08/nebraskas-homespun-mini-surgical-robot-company-inspires-support/
Medium Rounds ($2-$10 million)
There were no medium sized rounds in the Silicon Prairie during the week of October 28.
Small Rounds (Less than $2 million)
Snooz – $1.35 million – Chicago – SNOOZ is a consumer electronic company that has created devices that provide white noise to people while they sleep. The company raised money from Serra Ventures and the Irish Angels. Matthew Snyder and Eli Lazar’s company started in 2015 with a Kickstarter.
CurlMix – $1.2 million – Chicago – CurlMix is a cosmetics company that sells via a subscription service. The company provides buyers with a limited number of ingredients so that the buyer can mix their own hair care products. The founders Kim and Tom Lewis are pictured at left. Here is a good article from May written in The Moguldom Nation about CurlMix. https://moguldom.com/202127/these-founders-saved-their-company-made-1m-and-have-a-7-figure-funding-round-pending-on-mogul-watch/
Strayos – $1 million – St. Louis – According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis based Strayos will be moving to Buffalo, New York. The company was victorious in the 43North startup competition leading it to relocate to Buffalo. The company provides data analytics software for blasting and mining companies to optimize the process. https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/st-louis-startup-strayos-plans-move-after-winning-ny-competition/article_8a76553a-8a2a-5da0-a584-5ba49c5771f3.html
Surgical Information Sciences – $.93 million – Plymouth, MN – Surgical Information Sciences has built a tool that helps create 3D visualizations of the brain so that neurosurgeons can perform more effective surgeries. In a press release from May 2019 – CEO & President Brad Swatfager announced the company’s receipt of FDA clearances to move forward with SIS: “Surgeons are seeking significant improvements in visualizing brain anatomy for targeting in DBS procedures, and the SIS software provides the most accurate capabilities in existence. The software has demonstrated its ability to predict the location of the STN with an average surface distance accuracy of less than 1mm. With this expanded FDA clearance, we will not only be able to assist in the planning and targeting prior to the procedure, but provide the ability to see where the lead was placed relative to the STN post procedure. We believe this post-operative feature, along with the results of ongoing clinical studies of this SIS software, will demonstrate improved accuracy related to targeting and could provide a potential solution to creating much greater consistency of results leading to higher utilization of this life changing therapy.” – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/surgical-information-sciences-announces-fda-510k-clearance-for-additional-visualization-capabilities-in-its-dbs-targeting-software-300842004.html
General Lattice – $.6 million – Chicago – General Lattice is a computational design and digital manufacturing company. The company is working on optimizing lattice structures in 3D printing. The goal is to “deliver on performance as well as aesthetic appeal” – according to the company’s blog. The three founders are Nick Florek, Alex Rhoades, and Marek Moffett.
Peanut Butter – $.5 million – Chicago – Peanut Butter provides employers with software tools that help them provide employee benefits associated with student loan assistance programs. Similarly to Strayos, the company received money from 43North, appearing to mean that a significant portion of the team will be relocating to Buffalo. https://www.43north.org/governor-cuomo-announces-1-million-grand-prize-winner-of-43north-3/
Ponypak – $.21 million – Chicago – Ponypak is the manufacturer of diving equipment associate with redundant air supply for underwater divers. The company provides an array of products associated with their underwater diving safety platform. The founder is William Messner. For a significant amount of underwater footage – check out their website at https://ponypak.com/.
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