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Middle Bit: GlobalVetLINK announces investment from Lead Edge Capital


Ames-based GlobalVetLINK announced a “significant investment” Thursday afternoon from Lead Edge Capital, according to a news release.

Brian Steffen—Director of Sales and Marketing for GlobalVetLINK—told Clay & Milk that terms of the investment were to be kept confidential. He said this is the first time the company has raised capital, and they were working on the deal since the summer of 2017.

Lead Edge Capital will hold three seats on the GlobalVetLINK Board of Directors, according to the release.

“We are planning on doubling the size of our team over the next two years,” Steffen said Friday morning. “The funds are going to be invested towards growing our employee base, predominately in product management and product development.”

GlobalVetLINK launched in 2001 and connects animal health stakeholders by offering real-time, web-based solutions to improve animal wellness and safety. GlobalVetLINK services support animal health practitioners to establish protocols that will help improve their business in all aspects including saving money and time.

In the last three years, Steffen said the company has grown quicker than expected. In 2017, he said GlobalVetLINK added as many customers as it had the previous three years combined.

Lead Edge Capital is based in New York and invests in growth stage software and internet businesses. Other companies in their portfolio include Spotify and Uber.

This is the first investment in animal health for Lead Edge Capital.

“Some of those private equity firms have sources for their fund that are union pensions or university pension, but with Lead Edge Capital they actually fund through a series of private investors,” Steffen explained. “Then they serve as limited partners who actually provide support for companies Lead Edge invests in. They become a collaborative partner.”

Steffen said GlobalVetLINK is in the process of developing and preparing to launch new products in 2019.

What else happened…


Announcing the Class of 2018 for Techstars Boulder – Techstars


Lacertus Branding, a Glenview, IL-based specialist in the licensing, manufacture and administration of leading consumer packaged goods brands, closed a revenue-based financing transaction with Decathlon Capital Partners – FinsMes

nOCD, a Chicago-based provider of a mental health app, raised $1m in funding – Tech Crunch


Adore Your Walls announced for February startup stories – DSM Partnership

ISU ag entrepreneurship professor address the House Small Business Subcommittee – ISU News Service


onXmaps, Inc., a Missoula-based provider of mobile mapping technology for outdoor adventurers, raised $20.3 million in funding – FinsMes


TechAccel announces investment in St. Louis-based Plastomatics – SPN

Varsity Tutors, a St. Louis-based provider of a live learning platform that connects students and professionals with personalized instruction, closed a $50M Series C funding – Tech Crunch


Losant, a Cincinnati-based enterprise Internet of Things platform, raised $5.2m in Series A financing –

SafeChain, a Columbus-based real estate tech startup, secured $3m in funding – FinsMes

Middle Bit: GlobalVetLINK announces investment from Lead Edge Capital | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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