The Term Sheet: Startup funding roundup for March

Colorado startup funding was down $8 million in March compared to February.

According to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC, 40 startups around the state raised a total of $215.7 million last month. (You can see our sortable spreadsheet here.)

That compares to $224 million raised by 27 startups in February and $358 million raised by 38 startups in January.

Sierra Space, an aerospace company that raised $1.4 billion in December and another $9 million in February, raised capital once again in March.

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

Denver startups raised the most in March with $94.5 million across 15 deals, and startups outside of Denver and Boulder followed with $87 million among 19 deals. Boulder-based startups raised $34 million.

Here are some highlights from March:

Denver startups raise millions of dollars

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane will perform cargo supply and return missions for NASA in late 2022 and could make its first flight with people on board as soon as 2025. (BusinessDen file)

Sierra Space (Louisville): $19 million

On the heels of a record-setting $1.4 billion raise in December and a $9 million raise in February, Sierra Space raked in another $19 million from 23 investors last month, according to SEC filings.

The Louisville-based aerospace company, founded in 2021, is a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corp. and has about 1,100 employees and an office at 1722 Boxelder St. in Louisville.

In February, Sierra Space announced plans to double its headcount and said that it had leased space in Centennial, according to a news release. It’s also starting a space launch operation in Florida.

The startup is staffing up to launch “the world’s only winged commercial spaceplane,” the Dream Chaser, which will perform cargo supply and return missions for NASA.

Smartwyre scaled

Smartwyre raised $10.5 million last month to enhance its software and expand its staff. (Courtesy of Smartwyre)

Smartwyre (Denver): $10.5 million

Denver-based Smartwyre, which provides up-to-date pricing, product and rebate data for suppliers in the agricultural industry, closed on a $10.5 million round last month.

The startup, founded in 2018 by CEO John Brubaker, plans to use the funds to enhance its software and expand its staff of 50, according to a news release.

TENKoZ, one of the U.S. market’s largest distributors of crop protection products, is a Smartwyre customer, according to the release. The startup’s offices are at 2301 Blake St. near Coors Field.

The funding round was led by Indianapolis-based High Alpha Capital with participation from existing investors Anterra Capital, Fall Line Capital, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest fund and Cavallo Ventures, according to a news release.

Smartwyre previously raised $3.1 million in 2019 from four investors, according to SEC filings.

Proof Technology

Proof Technology, which connects law firms and government agencies to process servers, raised $7 million in March. (Courtesy of Proof Technology)

Proof Technology (Denver): $7 million

Denver-based Proof Technology raised $7 million in March.

Proof, founded in 2018 by attorney and CEO Eric Voogt, connects more than 3,500 law firms and government agencies to process servers who deliver legal documents to defendants and witnesses, according to a news release.

The startup’s technology extracts names and addresses from each case caption and, through geolocation, finds a process server closest to the address of the defendant or witness.

Proof, whose offices are at 1800 N. Gaylord St. in City Park West, plans to use the funds to scale its technology, bring on new users and cater to existing customers’ needs, according to a news release.

The funding round was led by Englewood-based Blue Heron Capital and The LegalTech Fund with participation from Clio Ventures and existing investors Forward VC and Crossbeam Venture Partners.

As part of the round, Blue Heron operating advisor Chris Weiler will join Proof’s board of directors.

This brings the startup’s total raised to nearly $9 million, according to SEC filings.

FoodMaven

FoodMaven, which raised $3.5 million last month, is now an online marketplace that helps wholesale food buyers compare prices for items like meat and produce. (Courtesy of FoodMaven)

FoodMaven (Colorado Springs): $3.5 million

FoodMaven raised $3.5 million from five investors last month, according to SEC filings.

FoodMaven, founded in Colorado Springs in 2015, previously sold excess produce and other food items from manufacturers and producers to restaurants, universities and hotels in 100 cities nationwide through an online marketplace.

The startup moved operations to the Denver area and has since transitioned from a wholesaler of surplus food to an online platform that helps wholesale food buyers compare prices for items like meat and produce, according to its website.

The company has raised a total of $32.6 million since 2015, according to SEC filings.

Staffing Engine

Staffing Engine, which raised $1.4 million last month, helps staffing firms connect with more candidates and speed up the recruiting process. (Courtesy of Staffing Engine)

Staffing Engine (Boulder): $1.4 million

Boulder-based Staffing Engine, which helps staffing firms connect with more candidates and speed up the recruiting process, raised $1.4 million from 15 investors in March, according to SEC filings.

Ted Guggenheim, Andrew Kimmell and Mick Hickman founded the company in 2020 after previously starting TextUs, a conversational text messaging software for the staffing industry.

Denver startups raise millions of dollars

Colorado startup funding was down $8 million in March compared to February.

According to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC, 40 startups around the state raised a total of $215.7 million last month. (You can see our sortable spreadsheet here.)

That compares to $224 million raised by 27 startups in February and $358 million raised by 38 startups in January.

Sierra Space, an aerospace company that raised $1.4 billion in December and another $9 million in February, raised capital once again in March.

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

The $216 million raised by 40 Colorado companies was down from the $224 million raised by 27 startups in February.

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