Investing in Iowa: Q1 2021

Investing in Iowa is a quarterly review of all investments made into early-stage companies in Iowa. The series is sponsored by ISA Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in Iowa-based companies.

Iowa startups raised $31 million in Q1 of 2021. Since the beginning of 2018, Iowa startups have now raised a total of more than $340 million. The following is a list of all known investments raised by Iowa companies in Q1 of 2021.

CompaniesLocationAmount RaisedDate
Continuum AgWashington$125,00003-22-21
Digital DiagnosticsCoralville$2,500,00002-19-21
Haber TechnologiesAmes$300,00003-08-21
IgorWest Des Moines$500,00001-04-21
LenderCloseWest Des Moines$10,000,00003-23-21
Mazen Animal HealthAmes$2,000,00003-01-21
NanoBio DesignsWest Des Moines$450,00002-10-21
RoboflowDes Moines$2,100,00001-12-21
Viewpoint Molecular TargetingCoralville$13,000,00001-11-21


Multiple 10MM+ rounds

Two startups—LenderClose and Viewpoint Molecular Targeting—raised Series B rounds of $10 million or more this quarter. Since we began tracking investments in 2018, 9 companies have raised rounds of $10 million or more.

Investments continue to come from within the state

Much of the capital raised in 2021 continued to come from investors within the state. Next Level Ventures invested in several of the companies that raised capital in 2021 including a $10 Series B round in LenderClose and a $2.1 million seed round in Roboflow. ISA Ventures participated in a $2 million round raised by Mazen Animal Health.

Next Level Ventures raises new fund for fintech companies in credit union industry

Next Level Ventures along with credit union partners of Members Development Company (MDC) have announced the launch of a new venture capital fund Curql that will focus on financial services technology companies in the credit union industry. 

The Curql Fund will be managed by Next Level Ventures. The firm will help to lead, structure and manage the investments from the Curql Fund in the fintech companies. To date, NLV invested in two credit union service organizations—Dwolla and LenderClose—and has worked with several credit unions over the last nine years.

Ag Startup Engine raises second fund of $2.25 million

Ag Startup Engine announced in February that it had increased its investor-member base and has raised a second fund of $2.25 million with plans to invest in up to 45 startups in the agriculture and food technology space over the next five years. 

Established in late 2016, ASE began by looking at agtech startups in the Iowa State University ecosystem. The Ag Startup Engine’s goal was to address how to deploy risk capital into early-stage startups to solve problems in all aspects of agriculture.

Startups that receive investments typically receive a $25,000 to $50,000 investment along with additional resources, connections to investors, partners, customers, advisors, and preferred service providers. This can include office space in the ISU Research Park, assistance in talent acquisition, and discounts on digital tools that help the startups scale quickly.  

These lists were 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.