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Midwest Funding Report: Ohio’s Pacaso Closes $125M Series C

The Funding Roundup is a weekly note about companies that raised venture capital.  We use four sources – 1) those that are sent to us via press release (, 2) Form D filings in the sixteen states that we cover, 3) Databases to which we subscribe (particularly Pitchbook, Crunchbase), 4) Other sources (such as SBIR grant database).  The goal of the funding roundup is to provide a quick synthesis of companies that are actively raising money.  This is not a value judgment placing VC backed companies over bootstrapped – only a recognition that VC backed companies often file paperwork that puts them on our radar. 

Thirteen large deals in the Middle this week – with significant rounds being confirmed in eight states.  The biggest round of the week was the mammoth $125 million round that was completed in Ohio for Pacaso (one of the region’s high flyers).  There were also big rounds in Chicago and the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  But, two rounds that caught our eye – were Roboflow (a VR company in Des Moines) and BriteCore (an insurance company in Springfield).  We also get excited about rural rounds – so SmartScripts in Washington, Iowa is consistently on our radar.  Since the beginning of 2021, only about forty companies in the entire region have raised venture capital from a rural headquarters (of about 1400 deals).  And most of these deals are for relatively small (or undisclosed) amounts of money.  The point is that most Middle states have vast swaths of land (if not people) that do not have access to early stage venture/risk capital.  This is a long-term problem for the region, and solving it is weakened without some discussion about best practices in small communities and by companies that raise from a rural hub.  So, congrats to the forty that have, and we hope that there are twice as many in the next nine months.

Large Rounds (More than $10M)
Pacaso$125M CincinnatiOhio
Vanqua Bio$85M ChicagoIllinois
The Mom Project$59M ChicagoIllinois
Francis Medical$55M Maple GroveMinnesota
RECUR$50M Madison HeightsMichigan
Rezilion$30M Saint CharlesMissouri
Flywheel (Health)$21.5M MinneapolisMinnesota
Roboflow$20.5M Des MoinesIowa
BriteCore$20M SpringfieldMissouri
Synchem$18M Elk GroveIllinois
BrainXell$13.3M Madison  Wisconsin
SmartScripts$11.3M WashingtonIowa
Cured$10M IndianapolisIndiana
Series A ($2M to $10M)
PetFriendly$6M OmahaNebraska
Thoughtful Automation$5M ChicagoIllinois
Clever Real Estate$4.8M Saint LouisMissouri
Scenic Hill Solar$4.3M Little RockArkansas
Alkeme$3.5M ChicagoIllinois
Innovare$3M ChicagoIllinois$2.5M IndianapolisIndiana
Early Stage ($500k to $2M)
Surgical Safety Scanner$1.5M BrightonMichigan
GFX Labs$1.5M ChicagoIllinois
HeXalayer$1M LouisvilleKentucky
EPIEN Medical$.9M Saint PaulMinnesota
Structural$.84M Saint PaulMinnesota
Neurava$.7M West LafayetteIndiana
EdgeConnect$.5M Tipp CityOhio
Glazd$.5M MiddletonWisconsin
Seed Stage (0 to $500k)
StoryBolt$.4M IndianapolisIndiana
TribeVest$.3M ColumbusOhio
Simmerse$.22MSaint LouisMissouri
BWR Innovations$.15M FargoNorth Dakota


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