Phila.-area firms got $420M in venture funding in 2013

Tom Spann, CEO of Accolade Inc., which received $30 million from Carrick Capital Partners, of San Francisco. File Photograph
Tom Spann, CEO of Accolade Inc., which received $30 million from Carrick Capital Partners, of San Francisco. File Photograph
Posted: January 19, 2014

Venture capitalists invested $420.3 million in Philadelphia-area companies last year, up 1.2 percent from the year before, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. and the National Venture Capital Association.

The report, released Friday and based on data from Thomson Reuters, also showed that venture capitalists nationally invested $29.4 billion in 3,995 deals, a 7 percent increase in dollars and a 4 percent increase in deals.

Locally, the number of companies receiving venture capital equity investments increased 9.9 percent to 122 from 111.

In the fourth quarter, 34 Philadelphia-area companies received $81.6 million in investments. The largest investment - $30 million - went to Accolade Inc., a Plymouth Meeting company that provides health assistants who help employees of big, self-insured companies navigate medical care and insurance. Accolade's investor was Carrick Capital Partners, of San Francisco.

The second-biggest Philadelphia-area investment in the fourth quarter went to a company identified by PricewaterhouseCoopers as Aklero Risk Analytics Inc., of Fort Washington. Aklero, which changed its name to LoanLogics in November, said it received $11.2 million in funding from existing owners and Boston growth-equity firm Volition Capital.

LoanLogics sells software used to streamline mortgage underwriting and analyze the risk of mortgages, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Two sectors dominated Philadelphia-area venture capital investments in the fourth quarter. Biotechnology accounted for $163.9 million of investments, or 39 percent of the total. Software was close behind, taking in $155.9 million, or 37 percent. That was the highest total for software since 2001.

Likewise, nationally, signs of the good old days of the technology boom around 2000 were evident in the numbers.

Internet-specific companies captured $7.1 billion in 2013, the highest level since 2001. Investments in software firms were $11 billion and captured 37 percent of all venture capital in 2013, the highest level ever in the survey, which dates to 1995.


hbrubaker@phillynews.com

215-854-4651 @InqBrubaker

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