MN Firms Raise Millions In Recent Investments
A diverse set of Minnesota companies has recently closed on millions of dollars in financing, while other local firms have announced their intention to seek capital.
TenKsolar, a Bloomington-based maker of rooftop solar panels for buildings, said Monday that it has secured an investment from Oaktree Capital Management, a national firm with $79.8 billion in assets under management.
TenKSolar did not disclose the value of the deal but said Oaktree Capital Management’s investment will support its “rapid growth by expanding production capacity and sales and marketing efforts to increase its customer base and accelerate market penetration.” This doesn’t mark TenKSolar’s first investment; for example, it raised $15.5 million in a 2012 financing round.
Meanwhile, Preceptis Medical—which received the grand prize in this year's Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial competition—has landed a $1.2 million investment from Gopher Angels, an angel investor network that was launched in 2012.
Preceptis Medical’s innovative med-tech device is designed to reduce the amount of time required to perform a common ear-tube procedure. The deal constitutes Gopher Angels’ largest investment to date, and one of Gopher Angels' founders told Twin Cities Business that Preceptis plans to use its new funds to bolster intellectual property, research and development, and market expansion for its current product, among other things.
Optimine Software, Inc., meanwhile, recently disclosed in a regulatory filing that it's raising funds. The St. Paul-based company, which provides analytics software for measuring and optimizing digital advertising, said last week that it raised about $4.15 million in an equity financing round. And about $1 million remains to be sold during the round, according to the company's regulatory filing.
Minnetonka-based TrackIF, LLC, is also receiving investments. The company indicated in a recent regulatory filing that it has closed on roughly $1.2 million as part of an ongoing round in which the company aims to raise $3 million. The company, which was founded in 2012, built a platform through which people can monitor a list of their favorite websites and receive alerts when deals are available. Its founder recently told TechDotMN that the remaining $1.8 million portion of its financing round is “oversold,” suggesting very strong demand.
TechDotMN also pointed out that Rochester-based Ambient Clinical Analytics, Inc., which creates digital solutions for health care providers, recently disclosed that it has raised $1.18 million of a $1.5 million convertible debt round. And Anser Innovation, a 2011 Minnesota Cup division winner whose PetChatz device lets owners interact remotely with their pets, has reportedly closed a $1.5 million equity investment round.
That's Just To Name A Few
The aforementioned companies represent a sampling of Minnesota firms that have been raising funds. As further evidence of local investment deals, a quarterly report compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers recently found that 39 Minnesota companies raised nearly $270 million in venture capital last year.
And 74 Minnesota health care companies attracted $227.7 million in investments in 2013, outpacing all Midwestern states except Ohio, whose health care firms received about $296 million, according to a report released Tuesday by an organization called BioEnterprise.
Meanwhile, some companies are turning to nontraditional fundraising avenues, including so-called “crowdfunding.” Minneapolis business partners Krista Steinbach and Mary Kosir recently launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $40,000 and had attracted about $9,500 Monday afternoon, a couple of days after launching. The company, called WholeMe, hopes to use the funds to expand its line of nutrient-dense, grain-free foods that are sweetened with natural ingredients.
Even area restaurants have been tapping into the crowdfunding trend.
Local software firm Gemican is among the Minnesota tech firms that is currently turning to crowdfunding, and it's not alone. In fact, Minnesota ranked third (behind New York and California) for the most Kickstarter-funded tech startups, according to a 2013 study.