Venture capitalists invested nearly $4 million in Maine companies during the first quarter of 2016, according to a new national report.
The total VC raised was $3.84 million spread over three deals: Pika Energy Inc., a residential wind turbine manufacturer in Westbrook, raised roughly $2.3 million from Maine Venture Fund and Clean Energy Venture Group; Redd Inc., an energy bar company in Portland, raised approximately $1 million from Maine Venture Fund and undisclosed firms; and Cerahelix Inc., a company developing high-tech filtration devices in Orono, raised $575,000, also from Maine Venture Fund and undisclosed firms.
The data comes from the MoneyTree Report, a quarterly tally of venture capital funding compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters.
Across the country, venture capitalists invested $12.1 billion in 969 deals in the first quarter of 2016, according to the report. The top 10 deals accounted for 25 percent of that dollar total.
While at the national level, the amount venture capitalists invest per quarter can be useful to tease out trends, the amount of VC per quarter in a state like Maine, which has a relatively small number of deals, is notoriously irregular and one-to-one comparisons are not very useful. For example, the first quarter’s $4 million represents a 77.5 percent decrease from the $17.8 million raised in six deals during the first quarter of 2015, but a 427 percent increase from the $758,000 raised during the first quarter of 2014. The third quarter of 2015 was a record-breaker with nearly $70 million raised, a result of very (in Maine terms) large rounds from Vets First Choice and CashStar.
More important than a dollar figure, which as the above example illustrates can represent only one or two companies, are the number of deals occurring. Three deals is about average for a quarter. Those aforementioned six deals during the first quarter of 2015 actually represent the most VC deals closed in a single quarter since 1998.
The following chart shows the quarterly total amount of VC funding Maine companies raised (left vertical axis, yellow bars) and the total number of deals that yielded that total (right vertical axis, blue bars) between 2010 and the most recent quarter.
Data source: The MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters