2013 Colorado Startup Report: Over $1B Generated through Exits [infographic]

by Elyse Kent
January 16, 2014

The 2013 startup report, released today by Built In Colorado, includes yearly data proving that Colorado’s digital ecosystem is quickly earning a reputation for itself as a unit. Startups from Denver, Boulder and other Colorado communities altogether raised a total of $461 million in 2013, keeping pace with their performances in 2012.

Denver digital startups led the way in 2013 with 70 companies raising $305 million, stepping up their game from 33 Denver-based companies raising capital in 2012. Boulder’s digital startups, of course, kept their steady, significant contributions with $147 million raised by 43 companies.

The 28 digital companies that exited in 2013, including 27 that were acquired and one that went public, generated more than $1 billion, a drastic increase from the number of exits and the amount generated by exits in 2012.

The biggest player of last year was Ping Identity, the cloud identity security company that raised $44 million. Online interactive learning platform Sympoz and storage solution company SolidFire also made huge contributions to the community’s funding total with $35 million and $31 million raised, respectively.

And then there is Rally Software, a staple of Colorado’s tech community since 2001 when it began providing cloud-based solutions for Agile development. Rally gave the Colorado digital tech scene its first IPO since 2000.

But it’s not just the big guys that made up 2013’s impressive stats: over 73 companies each did their part and raised $1 million or more in capital.

These companies represent all digital sectors, but it was the software companies that made the biggest local impact with 46 companies raising about $232 million in total. Twenty-one B2B web businesses, which in total raised $103 million, also added hard-earned pieces to the overall puzzle.

And the entire country is taking notice as signified by the 110 different investors backing local companies in 2013. It’s no wonder that Colorado’s digital ecosystem is drawing more attention as a whole: the community’s accomplishments demand it.

“I travel the world and Colorado is always a topic of discussion and inspiration for other great startup communities,” Techstars founder, CEO and Managing Partner David Cohen said. “Everyone wants to know how we top the charts in venture capital with places like the Bay Area, Boston and New York. I always tell them that the secret weapon is Colorado's ‘give first’ attitude and sustained culture of mentorship. It's truly special and sometimes counterintuitive. But we have become known for it, together.”

Governor Hickenlooper also weighed in, "The report released by Built In Colorado gives us more evidence of our state's strong environment for entrepreneurs and young businesses. The findings demonstrate that Colorado is being recognized across the nation by investors and major companies alike as an area where companies can grow and succeed. This success is bringing more resources into the state that allow companies to create jobs and keep Colorado on the cutting edge of the global economy."

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