It seems only yesterday that institutional funding was becoming a joke in the Triangle and across our state: A meager $32 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Today, the data is much different. The joke has become a distant memory.

In fact, North Carolina is now bucking a downward national trend.

The state’s startups and emerging entrepreneurial companies are now on an impressive roll when it comes to fund raising: After a $124.1 million second quarter, N.C. firms have now secured more than $100 million in each of the past seven quarters. And new figures show the state’s growing strength outside the Triangle.

  • Much more coverage coming: Check back at WTA later this morning for exclusive Q&As with three Triangle leaders about what these venture statistics mean.

Led by Triangle deals but bolstered by six others from the coast to the mountains and three in Charlotte, North Carolina rose to 9th place nationally in money raised. That’s a five-spot improvement year-over-year and dollars increased by some $3 million.

New figures published Friday by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters in the quarterly MoneyTree report show that our state’s entrepreneurs pulled off 16 deals totaling $124.1 million.

Conversely, year-over-year deals nationally dropped 12 percent in dollars and 22 percent in deals.

VC fundings do not reflect all capital flowing to North Carolina companies. A review of securities filings by WTW noted more than $300 million being raised in a variety of ways beyond VC, such as debt.

“Across the board” impact

The data triggered a lot of positive reaction from the startup community.

“I am pleased with the results of Q2 funding in the state of NC. This continues the trend we have seen in the state in 2015 and now the first half of 2016,” Laura Robinette, Raleigh Managing Partner for PWC, told WRAL Tech Wire.

“I really appreciate the fact that NC is back in the top 10, which means we are getting more market share of the investment dollars.”

Dhruv Patel, Director of Investor Relations at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, also hailed the news and said the deal flow reflects a growing strength in the N.C. startup sector.

“Across the board we’ve seen greater activity in the second quarter as compared to the first and that’s a positive signal for those who were worried about the severity of the slowdown in the funding market,” Patel said.

Startup Windsor Circle in Durham, which focuses on sales, marketing and retention software, was among the 16 companies making deals, pulling in $4.1 million. The company reflects the region’s growing ability to attract investors from outside North Carolina, particularly from the West Coast and Mid-Atlantic.

Entrepreneur: Aim for fifth

And Windsor Circle CEO Matt Williamson took pride in the N.C. showing.

“I’m proud of what we’re accomplishing in the ecosystem, and I’m enthused by the prospect of commanding even more of those venture dollars in the future,” Williamson said.

“We have smart, hard-hitting, cost-efficient startups thriving in a tight entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Let’s aim for 5th nationally!”

A big chunk of the funding came through one biotech deal: G1 Therapeutics pulling in $47 million. The state’s biotech sector, as usual, dominated with five deals generating some $60 million.

However, Raleigh’s PrecisionHawk pulled in $18 million for its drone software, and Wilmington’s nCino continued its cloud banking momentum with a $15.7 million raise.

Plus, three software-focused Charlotte firms (Central Scales & Controls, GamEffective, Passport Parking) landed $23.5 million.

Startup wealth spreads

And the state’s growing diversity in startups was demonstrated in two mountain-area deals, giving firms outside of the Triangle six of the 16 closings.

“Sure looks that way,” Robinette said when asked if North Carolina’s strength is spreading.

“Looking back just 3 years ago, the Triangle received more than 95 percent of all VC dollars invested. Over the past couple of years, we have seen this percentage drop.”

Early-stage startups were players, too, with several initial fundings.

Central Scales & Controls, which focuses on sleep management, pulled in a $9 million round.

Triangle startups Savii, ZynBit and T3D Therapeutics also pulled in dollars.

National ranking

The top states in funding, according to the MoneyTree data (deals followed by dollars) are:

1. California (404, $10.7 billion)

2. New York (103, $1.2 billion)

3. Massachusetts (76, $974 million)

4. Illinois (17, $28.1)

5. Texas (39, $256 million)

6. New Jersey (14, $214 million)

7. Washington (25, $18.1 million)

8. Pennsylvania (47, $173 million)

9. North Carolina (16, $124 ,illion)

10. Minnesota (7, $118 million)

11. Georgia (11, $117.2 million)