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Midwest Funding Report: Viaphoton in Aurora, IL, Closes $80M

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 ([email protected]), 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 aTctively 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. 

Chicago had an excellent week with five large deals and two more.  Viaphoton is a manufacturing company that helps by rapid prototyping and building for small batch customer requirements.  This is an unusual company despite the Middle’s ties to manufacturing.  Manufacturing and small batch, in particular, have not had the development runway that many other industries – information technology, software, bioscience, pharma, etc. – have had.  Thus, it is good to see a large round occur in this space.  Soflintec is a digital precision agriculture company that allows for field management, logistics, traceability, agronomy, and robotics.  This flexible platform called Alice AI has been utilized across hundreds of thousands of acres in North and South America.  

Large Deals (+$10 million)
Solinftec$60West LafayetteIndiana
Generation Esports$30.86Kansas CityMissouri
The MVMNT Group$20.25ChicagoIllinois
Network Perception$13ChicagoIllinois
Enumera Molecular$12.50East LansingMichigan
Series A ($2m-$10m) 
Woven Teams$5.87IndianapolisIndiana
Fifth Eye$5.40Ann ArborMichigan
Realto$4.50Overland ParkKansas
Claira$3.50Grand RapidsMichigan
Agitated Solutions$3.34OakdaleMinnesota
Speede Fitness$2.50ChicagoIllinois
Early Stage Round ($500k-$2m) 
Round River Research$1.87EdinaMinnesota
Novilytic$1.60West LafayetteIndiana
Smart Guided Systems$1.31IndianapolisIndiana
Smart Apply$1.31IndianapolisIndiana
Jump Technologies$1.16EaganMinnesota
College Aid Pro$1DublinOhio
Maazah$0.50Saint PaulMinnesota
Seed Stage (Up to $500k) 
Bioflight VR$0.40AkronOhio
No Limbits$0.38Iowa City Iowa
Caregivers Insight$0.05MidlandMichigan
SWL Therapies$0.04ColumbusOhio

Running Totals for Deals Per State and MSA (Updated Apr 24)

This section is specifically requested frequently by policy makers.  The last column is intended to provide a benchmark for communities trying to compare themselves to the other communities by size.  The average for all states in the Middle is 1.6.  Smaller than that number generally means that a community is above a linear trend line, although the MUG staff believes that there is an exponential curve associated with larger communities having a higher expected deal per person number.

MSANumber of DealsAmount of Dollars Dollars per DealPeople per Deal (x 100,000)
Chicago124$ 2,028.9016.40.8
Minneapolis65$ 922.4514.20.6
Cincinnati15$ 473.3931.61.5
Columbus31$ 337.8010.90.7
Madison14$ 258.2618.40.5
Kansas City17$ 215.2712.71.3
Canton1$ 204.00204.04.0
Ann Arbor10$ 176.0517.60.4
Detroit24$ 173.807.21.8
Indianapolis37$ 154.804.20.6
Fayetteville AR10$ 142.5314.30.5
Cleveland22$ 126.385.70.9
Peoria2$ 120.3460.22.0
Oklahoma City4$ 118.8529.73.6
St. Louis15$ 114.337.61.9
Omaha4$ 94.0023.52.4
Lafayette IN5$ 57.0211.40.4
Pine Bluff1$ 56.5156.50.9
Rural21$ 44.302.10.0
Milwaukee16$ 42.992.71.0
Louisville13$ 38.643.01.1
Fargo3$ 31.2510.40.8
South Bend3$ 26.708.91.1
Des Moines5$
Springfield MO1$ 20.0020.04.8
Akron5$ 17.663.51.4
Grand Rapids10$
Ames1$ 7.807.81.3
Little Rock4$ 7.651.91.9
Champaign4$ 5.731.40.6
Topeka3$ 3.811.30.8
Cedar Rapids2$ 3.741.91.4
Toledo1$ 3.633.66.5
Green Bay3$
Sioux Falls1$ 1.811.82.8
Lansing2$ 1.580.82.7
Lexington KY2$
Iowa City2$
Grand Forks1$ 0.770.81.0
Bloomington IN1$
StateNumber of DealsAmount of Dollars Dollars per DealPeople per Deal (x 100,000)
Arkansas16$  211.9113.21.9
Illinois130$ 2,153.1816.61.0
Indiana 55$ 261.374.81.2
Iowa  13$ 40.653.12.5
Kansas  12$ 194.6116.22.4
Kentucky16$ 31.862.02.8
Michigan54$ 379.657.01.9
Minnesota66$ 923.5214.00.9
Nebraska8$ 115.0314.42.5
North Dakota4$
Ohio78$ 1,132.5814.51.5
Oklahoma  4$ 118.8529.79.9
South Dakota1$ 1.811.88.9
Wisconsin36$ 309.438.61.6


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