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 September 1, 1999

15 county firms receive $171.8 million in funding

BOULDER — Numerous Boulder County companies are smiling after they walked away with more than half of a record-setting $307.2 million of venture capital invested in Colorado in the second quarter.

Fiftteen county companies, led by Longmont-based tape drive manufacturer Onstream, with a third-round investment of $75 million, received nearly a whopping $171.8 million, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Money Tree Survey. That was a huge leap from the $14.5 million raised by county firms in the first quarter.

The local computers and peripherals sector, which includes Onstream, was especially attractive to investors, with all four of Colorado’s investment deals in that area going to county firms.

In addition to Onstream, Boulder-based Ecrix Corp., a new tape storage start-up began by entrepreneurs Juan Rodrigeuz and Kelly Beavers, received a first-round funding of $19.8 million; Boulder’s Colorado Microdisplay, which is working on miniature liquid crystal displays, got $9 million, and Boulder-based SpinVision got its initial seed funding of $4 million.

“At $107.8 million, the computers and peripherals sector outpaced the still-strong communications and software and information sectors, which have ruled Colorado’s venture capital market since 1995,” Don Keller, who heads the global software industry division for PricewaterhouseCoopers, said.

The communications, software sector includes Internet companies, the darlings of the venture community for some time now. Statewide, that sector received $74.3 million. But again, several county companies took large shares. The largest funding locally in the sector went to netLibrary, a Boulder company that creating anywhere, anytime access to an online library of electronic books. Decision-ism in Boulder, which develops decision support software, received $7 million.

A much slower investment pace in the first quarter had some pundits questioning whether the shine was off Colorado, which enjoyed a record venture capital year in 1998. One of the reasons for the Q1 slowdown, Keller said, was that many Colorado-based funds were out raising money rather than investing. Now they’re active again, with 18 of the 33 deals in Q2 including Colorado-based funds.

On the national front, the second quarter was also a record setter, with a total of $7.67 billion, far exceeding the previous record of $4.31 billion, which came in the first quarter of 1999. “All the stars were aligned in the second quarter: a solid economy, a favorable IPO market and a strong stock market,´ said James Atwell, managing partner of the venture capital practice in the global technology industry group of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

While 33 companies were funded in Colorado in the quarter, California’s always-sizzling Silicon Valley had 283 firms funded.

BOULDER — Numerous Boulder County companies are smiling after they walked away with more than half of a record-setting $307.2 million of venture capital invested in Colorado in the second quarter.

Fiftteen county companies, led by Longmont-based tape drive manufacturer Onstream, with a third-round investment of $75 million, received nearly a whopping $171.8 million, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Money Tree Survey. That was a huge leap from the $14.5 million raised by county firms in the first quarter.

The local computers and peripherals sector, which includes Onstream, was especially attractive to investors, with…

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