MoneyTree VC report: Which startups really are based in Philly area?



Tom Paine



In sorting through the Q2 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers/National Venture Capital Association MoneyTree Venture Capital report (free registration) based on ThomsonReuters data, you can often come across some confusing information.

For instance, be wary of startups shown as being based in Delaware. Often they have nothing more to do with the state other than being registered there. For instance, Speaktoit, a Siri-like app for Android, is shown in the report as being based in Newark, DE, but CEO Ilya Gelfenbeyn told me by email when the funding was first announced in May that "we are in DC and now opening an office in Sunnyvale, CA", and only has a registration office in Delaware. Speaktoit recieved funding from Intel Capital. Another example is Roqbot, a social music service for businesses, which is shown as being based in Dover, DE, but is actually based in California. Google Ventures is among its backers.

Also, there are a number of startups listed as being located in Conshohocken. which happens to be the current location of First Round Capital's office until it moves to Philadelphia (as Josh Kopelman announced today). So it is no surprise that First Round is an early stage investor in each of them, although they won't be located there or in the Philly area at all in some cases. One, crowdfunding VC site FundersClub, lists three UPenn alumni as its top principals, although I haven't been able to determine yet where it is they call home. Another crowdfunding startup, Upstart, which lets investors back individuals rather than companies, is located in Palo Alto according to FormDs.com. Grokker looks like it is a reincanation of a visual search engine of the same name that shut down in 2009. which was also located in the Bay area. Another, Perceptual Networks, may have bi-coastal roots in terms of its founders, but Kopelman confirmed in his post today that it will have a Philly presence in that it will have space in FRC's new offices. I have no information on what Perceptual Networks is out to do yet.

Another interesting investment is that of Norwest Venture Partners in Media-based Alarm Capital Alliance, which provides home security systems through a network of third party dealers. The size of the investment wasn't disclosed. I know little about ACA, but I do know that Norwest usually invests in fairly sizable amounts of a few million or more. If I understand correctly, part of what ACA does is to provide dealer financing, so the Norwest investment could be related to that.

In all, it was a weak quarter for IT and digital-related investments in the Philly area. The total of all investment was less than $58 million, according to MoneyTree, but a quick glance indicates at least $44 million of that was in Pharma ventures and even some of remainder included the report was for companies not actually located in the area.

Philly Tech News' own database tracking Philly area (IT-related) VC investments doesn't exactly match the MoneyTree data, often because of timing differences. Some partial rounds often appear in different quarters. For example, MoneyTree shows a $3 million investment in InstaMed for the quarter, while my report includes the entire $14 million round the company announced in May.

Philly Tech News Philly VC Investments Database (Updated 8/15/2012)



permalink








No comments:

Post a Comment