Triangle startups net $82.8M in 2Q

Nine Triangle startups raised $82.8 million in venture capital during the second quarter, propelling the region into a strong year for startup funding despite lingering worries that 2016 would be a challenging year to raise money.

Triangle companies have raised $154.5 million in the first half of the year and are within striking distance of the $378.8 million startups netted last year, which was the area’s best year for venture capital since 2008.

Laura Robinette, the Raleigh managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the second quarter lineup was not only strong financially but also a healthy representation of the Triangle’s startup culture. The venture funding went to a range of companies in software, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and energy, and it was divided among startups in early, later and expansion stages.

“It’s a good quarter, quite frankly,” Robinette said. “We’re on track to have a really good year.”

The venture capital data is compiled quarterly by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on information supplied by Thomson Reuters. It does not always reflect funding from angel investors or corporate sources, but focuses on traditional venture capital financing.

Leading the Triangle’s VC list in the second quarter was G1 Therapeutics, an oncology drug developer in Research Triangle Park that raised $47 million in Series C funding in May.

G1 chief executive Mark Velleca said the 25-employee company, spun out of UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008, has raised $95.5 million since 2013. He said this year’s haul will help G1 expand its lead drug into clinical trials for indications beyond lung cancer, as well as advancing a second drug into clinical trials.

Statewide, 16 startups netted $124.1 million in venture capital, ranking North Carolina ninth nationwide for the quarter. North Carolina had three big deals in the quarter, including G1, Precision Hawk in Raleigh netting $18 million and nCino in Wilmington receiving nearly $15.7 million. Precision Hawk deploys drones to collect and analyze data; nCino develops cloud-based banking software.

Nationwide, California startups dominated VC funding in the second quarter, with Uber Technologies netting $3.5 billion from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. In all, six companies in California, New Jersey and Illinois each netted more in VC funding that the nine North Carolina startups combined.

In addition to G1 and Precision Hawk, other substantial VC awards in the Triangle included $4.5 million for Spyryx Biosciences, a lung disease therapy developer in Durham; $4.1 million for Windsor Circle, a retailing market software developer in Durham, $3 million in inMotionNow, a work flow management services provider in Morrisville; $3 million for T3D Therapeutics, an Alzheimer’s disease therapy developer in Durham; and $1.8 million for Advanced Animal Diagnostics, a livestock farming diagnostics company in Morrsville.

John Murawski: 919-829-8932, @johnmurawski