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Venture capital for Indiana startups surged in 2017 on fewer deals

January 10, 2018

Venture capitalists invested 50 percent more money in Indiana companies last year while the number of deals dropped slightly, according to a report issued Wednesday.

Indiana companies landed $122.5 million in venture capital in 35 separate deals in 2017, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP/CB Insights MoneyTree report. In comparison, Indiana received $81.7 million in venture capital in 37 deals throughout 2016.

The number of deals in 2016 represented the highest number since report data collection began in 1995. The high-water mark for total investment came in 2009, when investors plowed $300 million into Hoosier companies.

Indiana’s 2017 numbers mirrored national trends, the report said.

Venture capitalists invested $71.9 billion in U.S. companies in 5,052 separate deals last year. That’s a funding increase of 17 percent over the $61.4 billion invested in 2016, but a 4 percent drop in the number of deals.

Indiana's 2017 numbers included eight investments made during the fourth quarter, with a combined value of $55.6 million.

The biggest Indiana investment last quarter went to West Lafayette-based On Target Laboratories, which received $40 million from Johnson & Johnson Innovation. On Target is researching and developing a means of diagnosing cancer and other diseases.

Other recipients of $1 million or more in the fourth quarter included:

— Lessonly, an Indianapolis-based software company, which raised $8 million.

— EMU Technology, a South Bend-based computer hardware company, which raised $5 million.

— Kenzie Academy, an Indianapolis-based technology education program, which raised $1.6 million.
    

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