Venture Funding Surges in CT

Venture Funding Surges in CT

Stamford Advocate, October 5, 2017

By Alexander Soule

Venture funding investors funneled $115 million into Connecticut companies between July and September, $15 million more than in the third quarter of 2016.

Nearly 30 Connecticut companies raised cash in this year’s third quarter by issuing equity shares or other financial instruments as reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including a dozen in the southwestern corner of the state.

Trevi Therapeutics, a New Haven company developing a way to treat itching resulting from various conditions, accounted for more than a third of the statewide total in registering $41 million from New Enterprise Associates and several other investors, with the possibility of another $25 million in the pipeline.

IDW Media, a Stamford comic book and game publisher with titles such as Star Wars, Star Trek and The Transformers, reported $10.1 million in funding in an SEC filing to lead all southwestern Connecticut companies during the third quarter.

Other companies benefiting back to top

Other local companies notching significant investments included Fresh Nation, a Stamford startup building a national distribution network to furnish locally grown produce to grocery stores; and Nano Pet Products, sellers of the “Dirty Dog Doormat” and other products for pet households. And farther distant, other companies harvested new investments, to include BullBag in Killingsworth with its giant reusable dumpster bags; and Woven Orthopedic Technologies in Manchester, with a design to improve surgical screws used to treat fractures.

In the aggregate, Connecticut companies have upped their year-over-year fundraising in each of the first three quarters of 2017 for a combined 57 percent increase this year to $363 million — money that translates into hiring and spending as they ramp up to sell products or services.

Investors have continued upping the ante in Connecticut startups amid an overall leveling off since 2015, according to a second-quarter analysis published by Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association, with NVCA CEO Bobby Franklin describing as “healthy” the current environment in a statement accompanying the analysis.

“Venture investment activity the last few quarters supports evidence from the field that the industry is in the middle of a self-correction as valuations come down and the marketplace cools off,” Franklin stated. “That’s not to say investors are retrenching, but rather returning to a steadier pace of investing.”