The Term Sheet: Startup funding roundup for May 2024

Meati from website

Boulder-based Meati sells imitation meat products made from mushroom root. (Courtesy Meati)

Startup funding around the Centennial State dipped again last month. 

According to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC, 60 startups raised $411 million in May. That figure is down from April’s $547 million, and March’s $623 million. 

You can view our sortable spreadsheet here

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

Boulder startups raised the bulk of the cash last month — $267.5 million across six deals — which is only the second time in over a year the city has outperformed others. Startups outside of Denver and Boulder raised $83.7 million across 25 deals, followed by Denver with $59.8 million across 29 deals. 

Here are some highlights from May: 

Emergy Inc. (Boulder): $222.4 million 

Emergy Inc., which does business as Meati, raised the most out of all the startups last month with over $200 million. 

The Boulder-based company makes a meat alternative out of mushroom root. The plant-based food is sold in every state and can be found in large retailers like Whole Foods, King Soopers, Sprouts and Target.

Founded by Tyler Huggins and Justin Whiteley, Meati has been hauling in cash. Not including last month’s raise, SEC filings indicate Meati has raised over $230 million between 2019 and 2022. 

In February, the company announced Huggins was stepping down as CEO. Phil Graves took over the position. Huggins is still with the company as chief innovation officer.

In addition to the leadership change, Meati announced it was laying off 13 percent of its staff. The news came just five months after 20 percent of Meati’s workforce was laid off  so the company could focus on becoming more profitable. 

Magic School Inc. (Denver): $17.8 million 

The one-year-old teacher-focused artificial intelligence company raised just shy of $18 million last month. 

Adeel Khan, a former principal and high school teacher, started the company last summer in an effort to give teachers support and keep more in the industry. 

Magic School’s technology generates lesson plans, advice, rubrics, parent newsletter and more for teachers. Khan previously told BusinessDen the goal for the company is for every teacher to have an AI assistant. 

The base level of the service is free; the plus version which includes unlimited access is $100 a year. Magic School also sells a custom package for school districts. 

This is Magic School’s second raise. The startup raised $2.4 million in August 2023. Denver-based Range Ventures led both rounds. 

EcoEnclose Inc. (Louisville): $1 million 

The nine-year-old manufacturing company brought in $1 million last month in its first capital raise since inception. 

EcoEnclose makes packaging materials for clothing, food and retail brands. The startup’s materials, from its boxes, bags and packing tapes, are made of recycled materials. 

In addition to recycled paper and plastic shipping materials, EcoEnclose also works with other brands to minimize packaging waste. For example, it uses seaweed from the California-based company Sway to replace plastic and petroleum in packaging materials. 

According to its website, brands like Adidas, Popscokets and La Sportiva have used EcoEnclose packaging and shipping materials.

Meati from website

Boulder-based Meati sells imitation meat products made from mushroom root. (Courtesy Meati)

Startup funding around the Centennial State dipped again last month. 

According to a tally of Form Ds filed with the SEC, 60 startups raised $411 million in May. That figure is down from April’s $547 million, and March’s $623 million. 

You can view our sortable spreadsheet here

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

Boulder startups raised the bulk of the cash last month — $267.5 million across six deals — which is only the second time in over a year the city has outperformed others. Startups outside of Denver and Boulder raised $83.7 million across 25 deals, followed by Denver with $59.8 million across 29 deals. 

Here are some highlights from May: 

Emergy Inc. (Boulder): $222.4 million 

Emergy Inc., which does business as Meati, raised the most out of all the startups last month with over $200 million. 

The Boulder-based company makes a meat alternative out of mushroom root. The plant-based food is sold in every state and can be found in large retailers like Whole Foods, King Soopers, Sprouts and Target.

Founded by Tyler Huggins and Justin Whiteley, Meati has been hauling in cash. Not including last month’s raise, SEC filings indicate Meati has raised over $230 million between 2019 and 2022. 

In February, the company announced Huggins was stepping down as CEO. Phil Graves took over the position. Huggins is still with the company as chief innovation officer.

In addition to the leadership change, Meati announced it was laying off 13 percent of its staff. The news came just five months after 20 percent of Meati’s workforce was laid off  so the company could focus on becoming more profitable. 

Magic School Inc. (Denver): $17.8 million 

The one-year-old teacher-focused artificial intelligence company raised just shy of $18 million last month. 

Adeel Khan, a former principal and high school teacher, started the company last summer in an effort to give teachers support and keep more in the industry. 

Magic School’s technology generates lesson plans, advice, rubrics, parent newsletter and more for teachers. Khan previously told BusinessDen the goal for the company is for every teacher to have an AI assistant. 

The base level of the service is free; the plus version which includes unlimited access is $100 a year. Magic School also sells a custom package for school districts. 

This is Magic School’s second raise. The startup raised $2.4 million in August 2023. Denver-based Range Ventures led both rounds. 

EcoEnclose Inc. (Louisville): $1 million 

The nine-year-old manufacturing company brought in $1 million last month in its first capital raise since inception. 

EcoEnclose makes packaging materials for clothing, food and retail brands. The startup’s materials, from its boxes, bags and packing tapes, are made of recycled materials. 

In addition to recycled paper and plastic shipping materials, EcoEnclose also works with other brands to minimize packaging waste. For example, it uses seaweed from the California-based company Sway to replace plastic and petroleum in packaging materials. 

According to its website, brands like Adidas, Popscokets and La Sportiva have used EcoEnclose packaging and shipping materials.

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