American Underground takes pride in measuring the growth, success and impact of its community year after year, hosting an annual celebration to reveal the stats and thank partners, sponsors and members. And while we’ve still yet to dive into the 2016 version of its annual report, here’s a deeper look at some of the companies that contributed to $26.7 million in AU community-wide funding this year.

Note that the total funding figure was 10 percent down from 2015, but that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering a statewide slowdown in funding to tech companies.
We chose to feature eight companies this year, down from 10 last year. While others in the AU community may qualify as top fundraisers, these companies have disclosed venture capital raises since last year’s list. Too many companies would have been in competition for the ninth and 10th spots, so we narrowed in on the largest sums.
Notable here, is that three of the top eight companies are led by women. That’s up from one (Mati Energy) in 2015. The stat aligns well with American Underground’s increasingly diverse community—29.1 percent of companies in the space are led by women, a 30 percent increase over 2015. The AU team believes that inclusion starts from leadership—if leaders are diverse, they are more likely to value it and pursue it among their teams. That philosophy, and emphasis on supporting female founders, seems to be playing out well.
Also important to note is that six of these companies are new to the list this year. A quick check in with last year’s top fundraisers revealed one shutdown (PredictifyMe), one move (Sqord to Seattle) and at least four startups either closing another round or starting to fundraise in early 2017. Stay tuned for their news.
In the meantime, check out this year’s list of top fundraisers at American Underground (Editor’s note: ExitEvent is owned by and housed within American Underground):

Sift Media

2016 raise: $3.25 million
Investors include: Wakefield Group, Idea Fund Partners, Piedmont Capital, Alerion Ventures, Digital Turbine
The back storyAfter Digital Turbine acquired his last startup, Appia, Jud Bowman took a year off work, traveled and got married. The time off energized him and ultimately led to the creation of his third startup, Sift Media, which is spinning technology out of Digital Turbine. 
Still operating in a somewhat stealth mode, the startup is led by the same executive team of founders who led Bowman’s previous two startups (Appia and Motricity). After launch, the team quickly raised a $3.25 million seed round and anticipate raising a series A in 2017. 
On average, each smartphone owner has 41 apps on their phone. Sift collects that data, and any other data they can find to create a “digital fingerprint” for every smartphone user they can locate data for. As of the CED Tech Venture Conference in September, the team had created 640 million profiles, 336 million of which are in the U.S. Sift then uses that data to determine in real-time whether clients should bid for mobile advertising space in auctions hosted by the likes of Facebook and Google. The team has brokered at least five partnerships so far, and more are to come. Amy Huffman contributed.