While not short on innovation, Southeast startups have not traditionally done as well in the area of raising venture capital. As we begin 2015, here’s a look back at the five biggest Southeast VC deals last year.
The BeyondMVP team scoured the Securities and Exchange Commission’s library of funding reports to bring you the region’s biggest VC deals of the year. Our research included equity-only capital raises reported to the SEC under Regulation D in Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas and revealed a diverse collection of fundings in a variety of industries.
It wasn’t any surprise that startups with mobility plays – an area of strength in the region – and especially those in health IT and payments, were among the largest deals in 2014. But what was surprising was that two of the top five are consumer plays.
5. DaVincian Healthcare
What they do: DaVincian is a mobile cloud analytics health IT company that provides technology solutions for tracking, managing and automating key administrative and financial services for healthcare organizations. According to the Austin Business Journal, DaVincian will apply the funds toward a new social health platform that connects doctors with patients and allows them to interact digitally without an in-person visit.
What they do: Also operating in the health IT space, Teladoc claims to be the nation’s first and largest telehealth services provider. The Dallas startup’s network of U.S.-based, board-certified physicians provides adults and children experiencing non-emergency medical issues with 24/7 access to medical care via phone, secure online video, and private, walk-up kiosks. According to VentureBeat, the Series C raise underscores startups’ and investors’ eagerness to grab mindshare as online doctor visits become more mainstream.
3. Yik Yak
What they do: Still controversial, Yik Yak‘s hyper-local, anonymous messaging app has gotten a lot of media attention in 2014. Despite accusations of promoting cyber-bullying and a pending lawsuit from a supposed ex-founder, Yik Yak managed to raise $73.5 million over the year from high-profile investors including Sequoia Capital, Azure Capital Partners and Tim Draper. According to TechCrunch, the latest round, completed in November, values Yik Yak at between $300 and $400 million. Not bad for a couple of fraternity brothers only a couple of years out of school. But 2015 will be a test on whether they can deliver.
What they do: With the release of Apple Pay and a slew of competitive services rumored to be on the way, there is little doubt that mobile payments will be big in 2015. Mozido‘s cloud-based, white label technology works with virtually any wireless carrier or mobile device and accepts most currencies around the world. In May, Mozido raised a $103.5 million Series A from eight investors, followed by another $185 million in October from MasterCard, Wellington Management and others. The October raise is reportedly part one of a $400 million Series B round.
1. Magic Leap
What they do: When South Florida’s Magic Leap raised $50 million in February, few people seemed to notice. But then, in October, its name recognition reached near-mythical proportions after announcing that it had landed a $542 million Series B investment led by Google Ventures. Though the startup has been described as a virtual reality platform, Magic Leap seems to be positioning itself as a “cinematic reality” platform, though details are scarce as to what that actually means
Magic Leap founder and CEO Rony Abovitz – whose previous company, Mako Surgical, made medical devices – hasn’t helped much to quell the speculation.
“What is remarkable is how well the human body and mind respond when technology respects biology, so truly magical experiences become possible,” he told CNN shortly after the funding announcement went public. “Our technology exists to unlock the creative spark found in all of us.”
Photo Credit: 401(k) 2012 via Flickr