By Nancy Dahlberg
After an anemic Q1, venture capital came roaring back in the second quarter in South Florida, with more and larger deals. Life sciences and health-tech companies attracting most of the money, according to the Pitchbook-NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) Venture Monitor report published today.
In total, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area attracted $242.53 million across 27 deals in Q2, up from $86.46 million across 24 deals in Q1 and three times the dollar amount attracted a year ago, according to Pitchbook. It was the highest quarter since the first quarter of 2018 that included Magic Leap’s mega-round. [Notably, Magic Leap did get a large investment in Q2 that was not included in this report - more about that below.]
The 27 South Florida deals in Q2 also powered the state, attracting two-thirds of Florida companies’ take of $337.89 million over 57 deals. Following trends, the state's total is just 1% of the national venture capital value in the first quarter, however.
TissueTech, the Miami-based life sciences company, attracted the biggest VC deal in South Florida and the state, and fintech player Technisys, a digital banking platform, was No. 2. Seven of the top 10 deals in South Florida were health-tech, life sciences or medical device ventures.
Here are the top 10 deals in South Florida in Q2, according to Pitchbook:
TissueTech (life sciences), $82 million
Technisys (fintech), $50 million
CareCloud (healthtech), $33 million
Orthosensor (surgical devices), $24 million
Pixeom (systems and information management), $ 15 million
Tellus (healthtech), $ 9 million
Sunwave (healthtech), $ 5 million
Cien (business productivity software), $ 4 million
Blinkbio (life sciences), $3 million
Healthsnap (healthtech), $3 million
Although the top four deals in the state were from South Florida, other top deals in the state included LVX Systems of Orlando, $21 million, and Actio Analytics of Tampa, $20 million.
A note about Pitchbook: Although Pitchbook does capture angel rounds, particularly prevalent in South Florida, the data report does not include pure private equity or pure corporate rounds. Therefore the $280 million that Japan’s NTT DoCoMo invested in Plantation-based spatial computing company Magic Leap in April was not included in this analysis. Had that been included, investment in South Florida would have soared to over half a billion in the second quarter alone in Pitchbook's analysis. Nor did Pitchbook's Florida report include the $300 million PE-investment into Clearwater-based cybersecurity training company KnowBe4.
According to Pitchbook data, there was one exit in South Florida, Greenlane, a late-stage cannabis e-commerce company for $1.5 billion.
Nationally, overall venture investment in the first half of 2019 was just over $66 billion, about $33.6 billion of that in Q2, according to the Pitchbook-NVCA Venture Monitor. While the year may not surpass the record levels reached in 2018, full-year 2019 capital investment is still on track to post at least the second-highest year on record, Pitchbook said.
Most notable in the national report: A slew of major IPOs pushed quarterly VC exit value in the U.S. to a record $138.3 billion for the first time. “The IPOs of companies such as Uber, Zoom and Pinterest stole headlines in 2Q, but VC-backed life science companies, particularly biotech, continued to see robust IPO activity,” the report said. As the Venture Monitor report put it, the string of exits seems to signal "that 2019 will leave its mark as a pivotal year for the U.S. VC industry."
Pitchbook recently began including data on female-funded companies. Companies founded solely by women have secured a record 2.9% of the total capital invested in VC-backed startups in the U.S. this year. And while that doesn’t sound like much and it isn't, that’s up from a high of 2.3% last year. Teams with at least one female founder secured about 14% of the venture capital pie.
Through the first half, all-female founded teams have attracted $1.9 billion while mixed teams attracted $9 billion, on track for a record, the report said.
The CB Insights and PwC MoneyTree report on venture capital trends will be out next week.
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