Philadelphia Business Journal
Peter Key, May 11, 2012
In what could be a sign that fundraising for tech companies is getting a little easier, three of them in the area recently raised $6.6 million in private securities sales.
Virtual Piggy Inc., the Philadelphia-based operator of a website that enables parents to set up accounts from which their children can anonymously make online purchases, raised a little more than $6 million, according to its CEO and co-founder Jo Webber.
CloudMine LLC raised $480,000 in a sale of debt and options, warrants or rights, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing reported by FormDs.com. The Philadelphia company has developed a technology platform that mobile application developers can use for the back end of their apps.
Timesight Systems Inc. raised $115,000 in a private-equity sale, according to a filing it made with the SEC. The Mount Laurel, N.J., company has technology that allows high-definition surveillance systems to be supported on one-tenth of the server and storage space they usually require.
The fundings came after what would have been a slow first quarter for venture-capital funding in the area except for one massive deal — a $71.4 million funding of Exton-based iPipeline, which provides software to the insurance industry.
Without that deal, venture capitalists would only have invested $70.1 million in companies in eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware in the first quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report, which is put out by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Assocation using data from Thomson Reuters. That total would have been the lowest since the first quarter of 2009 when companies in the region raised only $43.8 million, according to the MoneyTree.
Virtual Piggy, which will use the money to try to gain widespread acceptance of its offering, didn’t have a difficult time raising money, Webber said in an email.
The company “has delivered on timelines laid down previously,” she said. “The consumer marketing campaign is a natural next step in the go to market plan.”
Timesight’s funding was connected to a nearly $3.2 million investment the company got in early last year, according to its CEO, Charles Foley. As a result of that investment, New Venture Partners of Murray Hill, N.J., and Contour Venture Partners of New York, which made it, had the right to invest more in Timesight and they did, Foley said.
Venture capitalists are a little more willing to invest in tech companies than they have been recently, but mostly in high-growth areas, such as cloud computing, storage management and information security, he said.
“We’re very fortunate that we’re in a strong area — storage and security — and we have solid, strong investors who want to invest more and grow the company further,” Foley said.
Another indicator that venture money may be getting easier to raise was attendance at the Angel Venture Fair, which was held last month at the Union League of Philadelphia.
The event drew about 400 people, its best attendance ever, according to Marc Kramer, its executive director. One-hundred-seven companies, also the most ever, from 10 states applied to present at it, Kramer said.
“I think with the stock market going up, and the economy … rebounding, there is a higher level of interest at all levels, from people wanting to start their own companies to people wanting to invest in them,” he said.