1. Business

St. Petersburg's Marxent Labs among Florida startups landing venture capital

Published Oct. 15, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG — Marxent Labs, a St. Petersburg startup that provides 3D "augmented reality" technology for retail and marketing purposes, received $1.2 million in venture capital commitments — one of the few young companies in the Tampa Bay metro area gaining VC financing in the third quarter of this year.

Nationwide, venture capitalists invested $16.3 billion in 1,070 deals in the third quarter. Of that venture capital, Florida received nearly $151 million, or just under 1 percent of the country's venture capital activity. So says the latest MoneyTree quarterly report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.

Florida's paucity of venture capital funding is not new. Some companies in the state still fared well in the quarter, with Orlando software developer Plansource Holdings receiving $70 million, Boca Raton software developer Modernizing Medicine getting $38 million and Delray Beach advertising software developer Bidtellect winning $22.4 million.

For the first three quarters of 2015, Florida saw 47 deals funded by venture capital totaling more than $385 million. That compares with about $473 million in VC funding deals in the same period in Georgia, just under $600 million in North Carolina and, in Texas, more than $1.1 billion.

Then there is California and its Silicon Valley, the birthplace of modern venture capital in this country. The state saw nearly $28 billion in VC deals in the first three quarters of the year. That's far more than half of the $47.2 billion in venture capital invested nationwide in the same period. Still, venture capital experts remain bullish. National Venture Capital Association CEO Bobby Franklin described the total venture capital dollars deployed to the startup ecosystem in 2015 as "on target to be the second highest since the inception of the MoneyTree Report in 1995."

Contact Robert Trigaux at