Are North Carolina startups missing out on potential investments from venture capitalists because the state’s general Assembly has yet to pass crowdfunding legislation?

A new report would indicate that’s the case.

CB Insights, which tracks the venture capital industry, documents for the first time in a report out this week the importance of crowdfunding to startups not only for initial capital but also as a way to ignite interest from institutional investors. 

A copy of this report should be sent to every North Carolina Senator where the N.C. JOBS Act crowdfunding bill – passed overwhelmingly by the House – is caught up in a larger piece of legislation. (Our WRAL Capitol Bureau team says no action is expected anytime soon, by the way.)

“Today, it’s apparent the crowdfunding phenomenon has indeed affected the VC ecosystem – as a complementary force,” CB Insights says, noting that crowdfunding was first viewed as a potential threat.

“With thousands of consumer-oriented hardware campaigns looking for financing for everything from smart watches to beacon technologies, crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter have provided VC investors with a valuable source for dealflow,” the report says..

The key findings, says CB Insights:

  • $321 million – Total VC financing to-date to crowdfunded hardware projects
  • 9.5% – The percentage of crowdfunded hardware campaigns that have gone onto raise VC
  • 2013 – The momentum has been building as might be expected and 2013 was a big year for funding. 2014, if the current run-rate continues, we will see a new deal high for crowdfunded hardware campaigns.
  • 5x – The amount of investor-backed companies and outside funding to Kickstarter hardware campaigns vs. Indiegogo
  • Misfit, Formlabs and SmartThings – The top 3 most well-funded crowdfunded hardware startups (un-exited)
  • Unrelated – Surprisingly, there doesn’t appear to be a relationship between the amount a campaign raises on a crowdfunding platform and the amount it raises from VCs.
  • Funding to crowdfunded hardware companies booms in 2013

And there have been some big hits:

  • Remember Oculus VR, acquired by Facebook in March for $2 billion? Oculus is a startup with a crowdfunding history, CB Insights notes.
  • Ten startups alone landed more than $150 million in VC funding over the last quarter of 2013 alone.
  • And so far in 2014, 19 crowdfunded-backed hardware startups have landed VC backing. 
  • Among the VC players are high-flyers Khosla Ventures, Sequoia and Andreessen Horfowitz. 

The full report can be read online.

Send the link to your Senator.

Right now.