Built In Colorado Releases 2016 Annual Startup Report
These days when people think about Colorado they often think about weed startups. The marijuana industry has added some much needed fuel to the Colorado tax base. So do startups.
Colorado has been big in the startup scene for the last decade, partly because of Brad Feld, the long haired, down to earth, tell it like it is entrepreneur and investor. After a career in the technology sector starting with his own company Feld Technologies, he went onto create two venture firms in Colorado that were important to the foundation of the state’s startup ecosystem. Feld started his namesake company while enrolled at MIT. He created Intensity Ventures and Mobis Venture Capital prior to creating the Foundry Group in 2007.
Feld later teamed up with David Cohen, David Brown and Jared Polis to start Techstars, the marquee brand of startup accelerators across the globe. He also began penning books on building and strengthening startup communities and ecosystems.
Now, over a dozen years later, Colorado is a huge force when it comes to states outside the famed Silicon Valley. Built In Colorado recently released their data on the past year for startup, entrepreneurial activity and investment.
The Colorado Startup Report revealed that the state saw $780 million dollars in funding across 129 startups. There were 14 statups that saw exits valued at over $35 billion dollars.
Startup Funding In Colorado
$780 million dollars raised in 2016 accounted for a 14% increase in funding from the previous year. In fact, Colorado startups have seen a 14% increase in funding year over year, dating back to 2012 when reporting startups had raised $502 million dollars. Pay Simple, LogRhythm and Galvanize led the funding charge. Pay Simple, a payment processing startup, brought in $115 million from Providence Strategic Growth. LogRhythm raised $50 million andGalvanize closed a $45 million dollar round last August.
Colorado saw more quality exits in 2016 then the state had scene in it’s previous year. In 2015 there were 45 exits. In 2016 the number decreased to 14 more quality exits. Level 3 led the pack of exits at a whopping $34 billion dollars, when it was acquired by CenturyLink. The next biggest exit in 2016 was SolidFire’s sale to NetApp for $870 million dollars (that deal was originally reported in 2015 and closed in 2016).
Closing out the report, Techstars, which oft times is credited for starting it all, raised $36 million to support their global accelerator programs.