Investing in Iowa: Q4 2019

35 different companies across Iowa raised more than $44 million in venture capital in 2019, according to our findings.

In Q4, Iowa-based companies raised $7,770,000. That combined with the investments from Q1-Q3 brings the total amount raised in 2019 to $44,046,000. Here is a list of Iowa companies that raised investment money in Q4 of 2019.

CompaniesLocationAmount RaisedDate
EdammoIowa City$165,00011-06-19
Farmland FinderDes Moines$3,000,00012-3-19
FBB BiomedIowa City$100,00012-23-19
InseerIowa City$100,00011-25-19
MakuSafeWest Des Moines$1,500,00012-15-19
MedTek Valencia eCoinCedar Falls$905,00012-10-19


Investments were down from 2018

Compared to the total amount raised in 2018, investments were significantly down last year. 2018 saw a total of $105 million raised, more than double what was raised in 2019. The average investment round in 2018 was $3.3 million, while the average investment round this year was $1.2 million.

That said, 2018 saw a $33 million round raised by IDx, an AI-based diagnostic system for the autonomous detection of diabetic retinopathy. This $33 million round in many ways served as an outlier, making up more than 30% of the amount raised in 2018 and more than tripling any other round raised.

Investments continue to come from within the state

Similar to 2018, much of the capital raised in 2019 came from investors within the state.

Next Level Ventures invested in several of the companies that raised capital in 2019 including Makusafe and FarmlandFinder. Next Level is currently in its second fund with plans to have invested in 20 Iowa-based companies with combined sales of at least $120 million.

Ag Startup Engine is another fund that invests in Iowa-based companies. Located in Ames, Ag Startup Engine invests smaller amounts-typically between $25,000 and $50,000 in early-stage agtech companies. To date, Ag Startup Engine has invested in ten different ag startups located in Iowa.

Million dollar rounds are becoming commonplace in Iowa

15 of the 35 companies that raised capital in 2019 had rounds of over $1 million. That combined with 2018 makes 32 companies that have raised rounds of at least $1 million over the last two years.

Agtech and medical companies continue to dominate

Unsurprisingly, agtech companies made up a large chunk of the companies that raised capital in 2019. The majority of agtech companies that raised capital are located in central Iowa. Several agtech companies raised rounds of over $1 million capital including AgCertain Industries, SwineTech and Tractor Zoom.

In Iowa City and Coralville, many of the companies that raised investments were in the healthcare industry. Q3 saw a $2.25 million round by Iota Motion in Iowa city and a $2.23 million round by Vida Diagnostics in Coralville.

New $30 million venture fund

Q3 saw the launch of a new $30 million venture fund by Cedar Rapids-based nonprofit NewBoCo.

NewBoCo announced in October the ISA Ventures Fund (ISAV), a $30 million multi-stage fund focused on bringing capital to early-stage startups, fast-growing companies, and expansion-stage companies to Eastern Iowa.

The Fund will provide a wide range of resources in addition to capital, including technology, sales and marketing support to selected startups. The fund will invest in about 125 companies from 2020-2024, across a variety of industry sectors. Companies will range from early stage startups to mature, expanding companies.

This list was made from a combination of SEC filings, Crunchbase and previous Clay & Milk stories from throughout the year. If you are aware of investments we may have missed, please post them in the comments or send us an email and we will be sure to add them.

Clay & Milk composes a similar list of investments for every quarter to build a credible track record of capital raised throughout Iowa. Over time, we add analysis to these posts, comparing past time periods and noting trends as they appear.