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Florida venture capital surged in Q3 MoneyTree Report, but that's thanks to one mega-round

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Florida venture capital looked strong in the third-quarter, but it was mainly due to one company’s outsized funding round. And it wasn’t Magic Leap.

According to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights released Wednesday, the $1 billion funding round by Fanatics, a sports fan e-commerce company based in Jacksonville, pushed the state’s numbers to $1.08 billion across 15 deals. In August, Softbank’s Vision Fund led the round in Fanatics. Q3's total was up sharply from $299 million in Q2.

Other companies receiving investment in the third quarter included Neutral Connect Networks of West Palm, a late-stage telecom company, $30 million; Plum of Dania Beach, maker of a high-tech wine appliance, $9 million; internet company Intelligence of Boca Raton, $3.4 million; advertising-tech company Bidtellect of Delray Beach, $3.2 million; and Miami fintech company Dvendo, $1.5 million.

Nationally, quarterly dollar funding to VC-backed companies in the United States edged past Q2 2017’s tally for an eight-quarter high. In Q3, investors deployed $19 billion to VC-backed companies across 1,207 deals, nearly the same exact total as last quarter. Funding activity was driven by another strong quarter of mega-rounds of $100 million or more, as Q3 2017’s total reached 26. The deal total was just one short of the tally in Q2 2017, just above the 8-quarter low seen in Q4 2016. New York-based WeWork was the No. 1 mega-deal, followed by Fanatics.

MoneyTree Report results are available at www.pwcmoneytree.com.

“With 40 percent of value coming from mega-deals, Q3 2017 saw the largest quarter for deal value in two years,” said Tom Ciccolella, PwC’s US Venture Capital Leader. “Three of the quarter’s five largest occurred outside of California, further demonstrating the overall health of the venture capital ecosystem across the U.S.”

On Tuesday, Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association released their report. They use a different methodology that includes angel fundings, and doesn’t include private equity so the Fanatics mega-deal wasn’t included. The Pitchbook/NVCA report showed Florida pulled in $162 million across 38 deals, down sharply from $286 million in Q2. Download the Pitchbook/NVCA report here.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

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