North Carolina startups and emerging companies from technology to life science raised just under $1.2 billion in 2015 – a surge of 122 percent over 2014, according to a new report from the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

Of those deals, 70 percent involved Triangle-based companies.

Most of the deal money went to life science companies (some $584 million) followed by technology at some $516 million. That’s a reversal from 2014 when tech firms drew slightly more than life science at $278 million. North Carolina’s life science industry ranks among one of the largest in the country.

The state also drew more deal makers with 146 institutional investors from around the world. That’s up from 132 a year ago and the 108 reported in the CED’s first annual report published in 2013.

The total reflects much more than venture capital, which rose last year to nearly $700 million in the state’s best performance since the “dot com” boom in 2000. Funding increased 93 percent from 2014 compared to a national increase of 16 percent, the CED noted.

The data contained in the 2015 Innovators Report from the Durham-based group was disclosed at a briefing in RTP Thursday morning.

“2015 was a banner year for North Carolina’s entrepreneurial companies, as the numbers of deals, dollars and investors were up to their highest points of the past three years,” said CED CEO Joan Siefert Rose in announcing the report’s findings. “We’re seeing a greater number of large deals and a continuing increase in out-of-market investor engagement – both positive indicators for the health of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The data covers not only institutional VC funding but also angel, corporate, “growth equity” and “strategic investments.”

Standard private equity funding reports such as those from the National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource do not include much of the funding counted by the CED.

The CED says that a broader report better captures what’s happening in the state’s entrepreneurial sector.

Inside the numbers

According to the CED:

  • 170 firms made deals
  • A total of 191 investments were made
  • Of those, 19 were worth more than $15 million, up from six in 2014 and five in 2013
  • The nearly $1.2 billion is up 122 percent from the $533 million reported in 2014
  • Funding is up 200 percent from two years ago

Here’s a breakdown of various segments:

Funding by sector

  • Tech: 98 companies completed 108 deals, resulting in over $516 million
  • Life Science: 52 companies completed 58 deals, netting almost $584 million
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Materials: 12 companies completed 14 deals, bringing in nearly $56 million
  • Cleantech: 8 companies completed 11 deals, raising more than $26 million

Where the money came from

  • 146 unique institutional funders
  • 51 investors coming from the Southeast
  • 36 from North Carolina
  • 34 from the Northeast
  • 28 from the West Coast.

By state

  • North Carolina, 36
  • California, 24
  • New York, 19
  • Massachusetts, 11
  • Missouri, 5
  • Texas, 5

International reach: 16 international investors from

  • Belgium
  • China (3 investors)
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Israel (3 investors)
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom

Exit via IPOs

  • MaxPoint (MXPT)
  • vTv Therapeutics Inc (VTVT).

Mergers, acquisitions: 22. The five largest:

  • Salix Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $11 billion
  • Sprout Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion
  • Scioderm, Inc., acquired by Amicus Therapeutics for $947 million
  • Bronto Software, acquired by NetSuite, Inc. for $200 million
  • Ansible, acquired by RedHat for $125 million

Read the full report at:

http://cednc.org/innovatorsreport/