2016 Colorado Startup Report: $780M in funding and $35B in exits

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Published on Jan. 29, 2017
2016 Colorado Startup Report: $780M in funding and $35B in exits

The Colorado tech community continued to grow in 2016.

A total of 129 Colorado tech companies collectively raised more than $780 million, an increase of nearly $100 million over 2015 — breaking the record set in 2014 and marking Colorado’s best year of tech funding to date.

Funding breakdown

Fintech company PaySimple brought in the year’s largest round of funding. The Denver-based payment processing service raised $115 million in equity funding in October.  

Cybersecurity company LogRhythm also had a big year, raising $50 million in August. The company has since expanded its team in the midst of a growing industry.

Notably, tech education and coworking community Galvanize closed a $45 million Series B in August, which is in addition to the more than $17.5 million in financing it raised throughout the rest of the year. While some of Galvanize’s funding will go toward the company’s venture wing, much of it has been designated for expansion — including the opening of the company’s newest campus in New York.

Exits, large and small

14 Colorado companies were acquired or initiated IPOs in 2016, a decrease of 45 compared to 2015.

Nonetheless, Colorado’s Level 3 Communications had a major exit, having been acquired by CenturyLink for $34 billion — and obliterating some of Colorado tech’s more notable acquisitions, like TriZetto’s $2.1 billion sale in 2014.

Joining Level 3 is Ping Identity, which was acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $600 million in June. And while we made note of NetApp’s acquisition of SolidFire in last year’s report, the $870 million deal was officially finalized in February of 2016.

Other notable deals include ROXIMITY’s acquisition by Verve Mobile and IQNavigator’s merger with Beeline.

Key industries

Bolstered by PaySimple’s round, fintech made waves with a combined $148 million in funding. Other industries did well for themselves, too. A total of 23 Colorado-based B2B software companies raised a combined $173 million, while 21 consumer web and mobile companies brought in just over $44 million in total.

Unsurprisingly, digital health, adtech and edtech companies all did well this year, bringing in $70, $29 and $22 million, respectively. Colorado’s cybersecurity industry continued to stand out as well, with seven companies adding to a combined $78.7 million in fresh financing.

Funding for funding

Including Galvanize’s venture rounds, other investment and lending companies raised money, too. Boulder-based Techstars raised more than $36 million to support its various accelerator programs around the world, and peer-to-peer lending company P2Binvestor raised nearly $18 million.


Infographic sponsored by CBRE.

Built In Colorado’s Annual Report is a financial analysis of digital tech employers in Colorado for 2016. To be eligible for inclusion, a company’s primary business and industry must be digital technology/innovation, including web and mobile applications, software, IoT, e-commerce, VR/AR and digital agency work. Data is compiled from SEC filings, press releases, confirmed news reports and other public databases. Funding data includes venture capital, private equity, debt financing and securitizations. All year-over-year comparisons are based on Built In Colorado's internal funding and acquisition data, collected since 2012.

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