Forty-five entrepreneurial companies across the state of North Carolina from life science to cleantech raised some $347 million in the first quarter across 48 equity deals, says the latest Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Innovators Report. That’s more than double the $169 million reported in Q1 2016.

“North Carolina entrepreneurs are off to a great start in 2017,” said CED Vice President of Investor Relations Miriam Wilson. “We continue to see a high amount of deals going through and we saw the return of larger deals.”

The start for 2017 bodes well for the year after funding fell to some $800 million in 2016 following $1.25 billion in 2015. CED reported some $622 million in 2014 and $460 million in 2013.

However, much of the funding came in one deal: Charlotte startup SmartSky Networks, which has technology to link aircraft to fast Internet and wireless connectivity, raised a Series B round of more than $170 million.

The funding includes venture capital, angel, corporate, growth equity, family office and strategic investments.

The quarter is the second highest three-month period tracked by the Innovators Report, falling only behind the $441 million raised in the third quarter of 2015.

Tech firms raised $268 million in all followed by life sciece at $70 million.

Here’s how CED breaks down the data:

  • Tech: 24 companies completed 25 deals, bringing in $268,433,775
  • Life Science: 16 companies completed 18 deals, totaling $70,510,932
  • Advanced Materials and Manufacturing: 2 companies completed 2 deals, netting $2,636,022
  • Cleantech: 3 companies completed 3 deals, raising $5,645,000.

Nearly 80 percent the deals were under $5 million.

The state drew investment capital from 42 different institutional investors, including five from California and Missouri and four from New York as well as three international funders.

Exits included deals for Blogads (acquired by Racery) and Polygot Systems (acquired by First Databank).

Two (2) entrepreneurial companies were involved in exit activity in Q1 2017. Blogads was acquired by Racery and Polyglot Systems Inc. was acquired by First Databank Inc.

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