By Sharon Fisher
In what could be the biggest funding raise of the year, Boise startup Tackle.io announced on Dec. 21 that it had received a $100 million Series C funding round, which brought its valuation to $1.25 billion. So let’s put that into context. Where does this funding round, and this valuation, fit into Idaho’s tech ecosystem?
One of the closest happened in October, when Lovevery also raised $100 million in a Series C round, which valued the subscription toy company at more than $800 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Series C funding round was led by venture firm TCG, with additional money from existing investors Reach Capital, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Google Ventures, and SoGal Ventures.
Other investments in 2021
It’s interesting to see not only the amounts that companies raise, but also who’s involved in funding them, with some of the same names cropping up over and over again.
TerraClear raised $25 million of Series A venture funding in a deal led by Madrona Venture Group on May 26, putting the company’s pre-money valuation at $58 million.
Continuous Composites, a 3D composites manufacturer based in Coeur d’Alene, raised $17 million in Series A funding in April. The round was led by B. Riley Venture Capital.
In January, Appdetex, a brand protection company, announced that Baird Capital led a $12.2 million Series C financing round. Appdetex's existing investors, including First Analysis, Origin Ventures, and EPIC Ventures, also participated in the financing.
Kno2 raised $15 million of Series A venture funding in a deal led by Providence Ventures and Health Enterprise Partners on July 14. Other undisclosed investors also participated in the round.
PlexTrac received a $10 million Series A round in April, led by Noro-Moseley Partners, Madrona Venture Group, and StageDot0.
SigmaSense raised $8.30 million of venture funding in the form of convertible debt from undisclosed investors on April 30.
Tovuti, which provides platforms for learning and training programs, raised $8 million in Series A funding in July, led by Blueprint Equity and ScOp Venture Capital.
Natural Intelligence Systems raised $5.74 million of angel funding from undisclosed investors on May 17.
SmartStory raised $5.61 million of Series AAA venture funding from undisclosed investors on April 15.
Emmersion raised $5.5 million of venture funding in the form of convertible debt in a deal led by Sepio Capital on March 26. Next Frontier Capital, Jeremy Andrus, and Tamarak Capital also participated in the round.
Make a Difference raised $4.56 million of angel funding through a combination of debt and equity from undisclosed investors on June 1.
In February, Fitted raised $3.4 million in seed funding, just six months after raising $1.2 million last year. EPIC Ventures led this funding round as well. A number of Idaho firms and investors also participated, including Capital Eleven, Kount co-founder Brad Wiskirchen, TSheets founder Matt Rissell, Clearwater Analytics co-founder Mike Boren, and MarkMonitor and AppDetex founder Faisal Shah. Additional capital came from Idaho Capital Ventures, Trolley House Ventures, and Vynyl Partners.
nft42 raised $3 million of seed funding in the form of SAFE notes from Mark Cuban and other undisclosed investors on March 11.
Gestalt Diagnostics raised $2 million of seed funding from Inland Imaging, Morningstar Foundation and Tacoma Venture Fund on April 15.
Joule Case raised $1.85 million of venture funding from Keiretsu Capital, Keiretsu Forum and Park City Angels on August 4. The company also raised more than $600,000 in a crowdfunding campaign. (In another crowdfunding raise, Solar Roadways raised $2,498,021 of equity crowdfunding via StartEngine on May 1.)
Killer Creamery raised $1.5 million of seed funding in the form of equity and convertible debt from Connetic Ventures on April 29.
In March was a seed round of $1.4 million raised by Crave, a local restaurant delivery service and platform. Crave’s initial funding round of $7.3 million was led by StageDotO in December 2020.
How does this compare with previous years?
The biggest investment in an Idaho company was likely the $1.75 billion for Albertsons from Apollo Global Management in 2020.
One of the biggest investments specifically in an Idaho tech company was in April 2019, when ICONIQ Capital made a majority investment in Truckstop.com. While that price was not revealed, industry estimates pegged it at $1 billion.
Another path for startups is through acquisition, and that’s also been a fruitful one for Idaho startups. For example, in January, Kount -- which in 2015 set a record at the time for the largest investment in an Idaho company, with $80 million from CVC Capital Partners -- was sold to Equifax for $640 million.
The largest disclosed deal in the second quarter, according to the Deal Flow Report, was Enlight Renewable Energy’s acquisition agreement to acquire 90% of Clenera for $389 million.
Boise-based VisitPay, a health technology company, was acquired by in May by R1, a Chicago-based health technology company, for approximately $300 million.
The final disclosed deal of Q2 was the $260 million acquisition of Boise based Design Space Modular Buildings by McGrath Rentcorp.
Federal Signal acquired Ground Force Worldwide for $45 million on September 8.
The biggest tech sale in Idaho was likely Cradlepoint, which was sold in September 2020 to Ericsson for $1.1 billion. Previously, the biggest sale was the acquisition of Eagle-based timesheet software developer TSheets by Intuit, for $340 million.
Idaho doesn’t usually have too many public offerings, but it usually has a few, which makes it easier to compute a company’s valuation. Just recently, Vacasa – which considers itself to be based both in Portland and Boise – went public in a deal valuating it at $4.5 billion.
In September, Clearwater Analytics Holdings Inc. rose 41% in its trading debut after pricing its initial public offering above a marketed range to raise $540 million, according to Bloomberg. That valued the company at just over $4 billion, according to the quarterly Idaho Deal Flow Report
In June 2020, Albertsons went public, raising $800 million, according to Fortune. In 2019, the sole public offering was the Pennant Group, an Eagle-based home health, hospice and senior living services company, which raised $443 million. In 2018, PetIQ was the sole public offering, with $78 million. That was also true for 2017, when it raised $115 million.
The biggest complication in putting investments and acquisitions into perspectives is that amounts aren’t always revealed, such as Truckstop.com. Similar was the sale of House of Design to Thomas H. Lee Partners, a private equity firm, on September 13, for an undisclosed amount.
Tackle.io’s most recent funding round was co-led by Coatue and existing investor Andreessen Horowitz, and included participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, which also participated in the company’s other two rounds ($35 million in March and $7.25 million in June 2020). The company helps software companies sell their products in the cloud.
Sharon Fisher is a digital nomad who writes about entrepreneurship.