Wisconsin Portfolio: Fewer deals, more raised

While at least 121 early-stage companies raised investment capital in 2018, the lowest number of companies tracked in four years, a record $280.7 million was raised by those companies, according to the 2019 Wisconsin Portfolio report issued by the Wisconsin Technology Council and Tech Council Investor Networks.

The annual report on Wisconsin investment activity notes the 121 venture-backed companies is down from 127 the previous year, but several Wisconsin technology stalwarts raised large sums. The largest deals reported were: SHINE Medical Technologies, $44.8 million; Madison-based Propeller Health, $20 million; Engineered Propulsion Systems, $16.8 million; Titan Spine, $16.7 million; and Midwestern BioAg and HealthMyne of Madison, $15 million each.

Equity funding continues to be the most popular kind of support, at 66 percent of known deals, followed by debt funding, 16.5 percent, and a combination of the two, 7.4 percent.

Fewer women-led or owned businesses raised funding last year, as only 14 percent of investment-capital recipients were in that category, compared to 16.5 percent in 2015.

Investors from outside Wisconsin continue to be more active in funding state companies, as investors from Chicago, Boston, New York, and California took part in 49 percent of the known investor deals.