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Nature's FYND


Midwest Funding Roundup: Nature’s FYND Scores Big

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. 

2021 is providing strong signals of the strength of the Middle’s venture capital backed startups.  Investors continue to pour money into the region, and not just in Chicago.  Of the twenty-ish deals this week, eighteen are in places outside of the Chicago-land area.  For example, Columbus, Ohio was home to two significant investment rounds.  Path Robotics closed a $100 million investment from Tiger Global Management. Loop Returns received more than $60 million from CRV and other investors.  This means that over the course of the first seven months of 2021, 130 Ohio based companies have raised more than $2 billion in venture investments.  This strength in Ohio is mirrored by much of the region.  Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Missouri are all having strong years with both large fund raises, but also the birth of new companies from serial entrepreneurs or the rebirth of companies after pivots, such as Dwolla’s $20M+ raise this week in Des Moines.  While it is only July, 2021 appears as if it will be a banner year for many states and communities regarding their venture capital investment level.

Large Rounds (More than $10M)
Nature’s FYND$350M Chicago, Illinois
Path Robotics$100M Columbus, Ohio
Loop Returns$65M Columbus, Ohio
75F$27.9M Burnsville, Minnesota
C3 Industries$25M Ann Arbor, Michigan
Paro$25M Chicago, Illinois
Dwolla$21M Des Moines, Iowa
Simfoni$15M Chicago, Illinois
FlexDex$11M Brighton, Michigan
Series A ($2M to $10M)
Rise Gardens$9M Skokie, Illinois
JustiFi Technologies$6.2M Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bonfyre$2.9M Saint Louis, Missouri
Gross-Wen Technologies$2.5M Slater, Iowa
TiiCKER$2M Detroit, Michigan
Galvanic Energy$2MOklahoma City, Oklahoma
Early Stage ($500k to $2M)
Saltbox$1.1M Edina, Minnesota
Happi$.94M Birmingham, Michigan
Peeq$.53MOmaha, Nebraska
Seed Stage (0 to $500k)
WalkWise$.4M Fargo, North Dakota
Smart Farm Systems$.05M Nicholasville, Kentucky
DAO Labs$.01M Minneapolis, Minnesota

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