The Term Sheet: Startup funding roundup for October 2019

Matt Coates (left) and Michael Reeves founded Meta Burger. (Meta Burger)

A plant-based burger joint is one of 28 startups in the state that collectively raised $57.02 million last month.

Denver-based Meta Burger raised $75,000 in October, according to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC last month. This brings the restaurant’s total funding to $125,000, CEO Matt Coates said in an email.

“We plan to raise $400,000 to $500,000 in this round, which will end on Dec. 31,” Coates said.

Denver-based startups accounted for the majority of funds raised last month, combining for $35.43 million. Boulder-based startups raised $9.82 million, while startups elsewhere in the state raised $11.77 million.

BusinessDen defines a startup as a company that’s 10 years old or less and excludes funds, real estate ventures and publicly traded companies.

Here are some highlights from the month:

Meta Burger is a plant-based burger joint. (Amy Bolden)

Meta Burger: $75,000

Meta Burger raised $75,000 from two investors as of Oct. 17.

Coates told BusinessDen that the funds will be used to hire Centennial-based design firm StudioAtlantis, which will work on the restaurant’s second location, at 5505 W. 20th Ave. in Edgewater Public Market.

The company, which has one existing location at 7950 E. Mississippi Ave. in Denver, expects to open in Edgewater in late spring or early summer.

“Currently we are focused on this (new) location, but in 2020 we plan to start the search for a potential third location,” Coates said. “Possible locations include Boulder, Denver and Colorado Springs.”

DarkOwl: $8 million 

A cybersecurity company specializing in “darknet” data raised $8 million last month from 17 investors. The darknet is an internet-based network that can be accessed only with special tools and software.

DarkOwl raised $8 million in October. (DarkOwl)

Founded in 2016, Denver-based DarkOwl allows businesses to search and analyze a database of darknet content through a tool called DarkOwl Vision.

“The demand for data and intelligence is growing as cybersecurity professionals increasingly understand that if you don’t have eyes on the darknet, you’re not getting the full picture when it comes to the security posture of your organization,” CEO Mark Turnage said in a news release.

Five Elms Capital led the funding round, which closed Oct. 8.

DarkOwl will use the funding raised in October to enhance analytical tools, machine learning and data collection, according to the release. DarkOwl also plans to hire additional staff for its client services, product support and sales teams.

RE Botanicals: $5.88 million

Founded in 2018, RE Botanicals is a CBD company offering body oil, capsules, pet products and tinctures.

The Denver-based company garnered $5.88 million from 21 investors when the round closed on Oct. 30, according to SEC filings. BIGR Ventures led this funding round.

RE Botanicals raised $5.88 million last month. (RE Botanicals)

With the recent venture capital, RE Botanicals will increase the capacity of its hemp growing and processing facility in Conway, South Carolina, and expand to new retailers.

“We are in discussions with several large national retailers for mid-2020 roll outs,” founder and Chief Hemp Officer John Roulac said in an email. “We are very focused on direct to commerce growth as well.”

Roulac said the company currently provides private label products for consumer packaged goods and brands, and plans to grow this side of the business in 2020.

Nice Recovery Systems: $2.43 million

Boulder-based Nice Recovery Systems raised funding in October. (Nice Recovery Systems)

Boulder-based Nice Recovery Systems develops and sells therapy wraps and a nine-pound compression therapy machine that doesn’t require ice, called Nice1.

The company, founded in 2012, raised $2.43 million in October. The funds will be used for research and development, to increase production and hire additional staff, founder Mike Ross said.

“We just have more demand than we can handle right now,” he said.

Ross said Nice Recovery Systems also plans to launch a new product in the second quarter of 2020, although he declined to talk about it further.

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