By Nancy Dahlberg

South Florida’s biggest institutional venture deal in technology was snagged by an innovative  Plantation-based company – but this time it wasn’t Magic Leap.

CarePredict, which uses AI-driven technologies to advance senior care, led the South Florida region in institutional venture capital in the first quarter with its previously reported $9.5 million funding raise, according to a venture report released today. The financing was led by Miami’s Secocha Ventures, Las Olas Venture Capital in Fort Lauderdale, and Startup Health Ventures.

South Florida companies raised $17 million in the first quarter, down from $25 million raised in Q1 of 2018, according to Moneytree’s report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights. Statewide, $107 million went into Florida startups across 20 deals, led by a $30 million raise by Finxact of Jacksonville. MoneyTree Report results will be available on www.pwcmoneytree.com.

Other South Florida companies raising money in Q1 included: Kairos, the Miami-based facial recognition startup, $4 million; Streann Media of Miami, $1,88 million; Sonavation, $1.08 million; Open English, $700,000 and DentiDesk, $200,000.

Pitchbook, together with NVCA, also released its quarterly report, called Venture Monitor, on Tuesday. Pitchbook doesn’t confine itself to institutional rounds; the data company also includes angel funding and does not include interim closings if the full round has not closed. In Pitchbook’s report, South Florida companies raised $81 million, including a $48 million convertible note reportedly raised by GreenLane, a Boca Raton internet retailer in the cannabis space, and a $17.5 million raise by OrthoSensor, the medical device maker in Sunrise. Statewide, according to Pitchbook, Florida companies raises $215.25 million across 46 deals. Find the Venture Monitor report here.

Nationally, according to MoneyTree, after 2018 saw the highest annual funding level since 2000, quarterly funding fell 36% in the first quarter.  U.S. venture capital-backed companies raised $25B across 1,279 transactions.

“US venture capital-backed companies saw its first decline in both deals and dollars in a long time. For funding, it was the first material decline since Q3’16 and for deals, it was the third straight quarter decrease,” said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights. “Investors are shifting away from the earliest and riskiest bets with US seed-stage deal share declining to 24% of all deals vs 30% just a year ago. Mega-rounds, which have buoyed funding levels, were also down this quarter although there still is plenty of money for mid- to later-stage companies.”

According to Pitchbook’s methodology, investors deployed $32.6 billion in VC funding across 1,853 deals nationwide, a 10.5% increase in volume and a 22.5% decrease in count compared to 1Q 2018.

“Despite uncertainties around the sustainability of 2018’s record VC activity levels, the first quarter of 2019 bolstered healthy figures and is on track for another strong year,” said John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook. “Investors continue writing larger checks to more developed startups, allowing late-stage companies the choice of operating in either the public or private market after weighing liquidity against transparency. When it comes to liquidity, there are several highly anticipated technology IPOs around the corner, and it will be vital to watch how private market valuations translate to the public markets.”

Pitchbook’s report includes a new section on venture investment in US-female founded companies, which will be continued in future reports. In Q1, investors put $700 million into 101 female-founded companies, the majority of those being late-stage deals, according to the data. That was 2.2% of total VC funding.

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Nancy Dahlberg

I am a writer, editor and a leader with extensive media experience and a passion for journalism and serving the community. Most of my career has been spent with the Miami Herald in business news, and my expertise is writing about entrepreneurs. I'm also good at research and project planning. I enjoy running community-focused projects and utilizing social media. Contact me at ndahlbergbiz@gmail.com
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