The Term Sheet: Startup funding roundup for December 2019

Choice Market raised $1.8 million in December. (BizDen file photo)

A local convenience store chain priding itself on fresh and local options raised $1.8 million last month.

Denver-based Choice Market is one of 39 startups in the state that collectively raised $324.94 million in December, according to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC

Boulder-based startups accounted for the majority of funds raised last month, combining for $163.12 million. Denver-based startups raised $119.42 million, while startups elsewhere in the state raised $42.4 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:

Choice Market CEO Mike Fogarty

Choice Market: $1.8 million

The convenience store brand raised $1.8 million from two investors, according to a Dec. 20 SEC filing.

Choice has two existing locations, downtown and in Lincoln Park, and plans to open at 909 Bannock St. and 2200 E. Colfax Ave. Founder and CEO Mike Fogarty has said the company is also targeting Aurora and Boulder.

Choice Market also raised $400,000 in May 2018, according to SEC filings.

gospotcheck office

GoSpotCheck reported its largest funding round in December. (BizDen file photo)

GoSpotCheck: $25.29 million

Denver-based GoSpotCheck reported its largest funding round in December, bringing in $25.29 million from one investor.

The technology company sells a software platform that tracks sales, inventory and data to businesses in the food, beverage and retail industries. CEO Matt Talbot declined to comment on the capital raise.

GoSpotCheck raised $21.5 million in 2017. 

Founded in 2018, AdventureLocals raised $62,500 last month. (BizDen file photo)

AdventureLocals: $62,500

Founded in fall 2018, Telluride-based AdventureLocals sets up activity-based trips with local guides around the world, including surfing in Portugal and trekking in Nepal.

The $62,500 raised from three investors will be used to build out the company’s technology, offer more trips and destinations, market the company and pay its four employees, CEO Charlie Cohn said in a previous interview. This is AdventureLocals’ first capital raise.

FoodMaven: $15.33 million

Founded in 2015, FoodMaven takes oversupplied and imperfect food from local organizations and sells it online at half-price to institutional kitchens and restaurants.

The Colorado Springs-based company, which expanded to Denver in 2017, raised $15.33 million from four investors last month, according to an SEC filing. Funds raised this round will be used to expand to Dallas-Fort Worth, according to ColoradoInno

“Our plan has always been to develop a scalable model that can be replicated in most other cities,” Founder and CEO Patrick Bultema said in a 2018 news release.

Teton Waters Ranch was founded by real estate investor Jeff Russell (left) and rancher Dusty Shifflet. (Submitted)

Teton Waters Ranch: $2.99 million

The Denver-based grass-fed beef company raised $2.99 million from two investors last month.

The company also raised $6 million in November 2018. Those funds were used for distribution, innovation and marketing, according to previous BusinessDen reporting. 

Verve Culture: $132,307

Verve Culture sells kitchenware and homeware with a focus on artisan goods from around the world. (Courtesy Verve Culture)

Steamboat Springs-based Verve Culture sells kitchenware and homeware, including chef’s knives, citrus juicers and tortilla presses, with a focus on artisan goods from around the world. The mother-daughter team of Jacquie Lewis and Jules Vertrees founded the company in 2017.

Verve Culture reported in an SEC filing last month that it had raised $132,307 from two investors. As of Thursday, the company has raised $275,000 of its $400,000 to $500,000 goal, Vertrees said.

The company launched an e-commerce website last year; previously, it was focused on business-to-business transactions. Verve Culture products also can be found in Nordstrom, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.

Verve Culture raised $132,307 in December. (Courtesy Verve Culture)

Funds raised will be put into the website, which launched last year, and to add new products or “cultures,” according to Vertrees.

Verve Culture sells products from specific countries, including Mexico, Thailand and soon-to-be Morocco, Vertrees said. Morocco products will be available online in March or April.

Notable capital raise

Although no longer considered a startup, Denver-based Love Grown Foods raised $4.55 million in December.

Founded in 2008 by Maddy and Alex Hasulak, the company sells products such as bean-based cereals and ancient-grain granola. Love Grown Foods also raised $600,000 in December 2018

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