Top Venture News in Florida Last Week
September 25, 2023

Congratulations to:

  • Flex (formerly known as Flexbase), a Miami B2B fintech startup that provides SMBs with solutions for credit and finance management, on raising a $120M Series A debt and equity round with up to $100M in debt financing from CIM and $20M in equity capital led by Florida Funders with participation from Home Depot Ventures, MS&AD Ventures, Companyon Ventures, and others.

Making news:

  • FL dedicates $50M through Florida Commerce (Florida Job Growth Grant Fund) and the Florida Department of Education (Workforce Development Grant Program) to projects and workforce education opportunities that support semiconductor manufacturing, advanced packaging, and research and development within the military, defense, and space industries.
  • Biden administration changing policy for Cuban entrepreneurs – will be allowed to open U.S. bank accounts and access internet services including videoconferencing and cloud-based services and will be able to develop apps for Apple and Google app stores.
  • Anaplan, a San Francisco cloud-based business planning and analytics software company with 2,000 employees globally, relocating its HQ to Miami – acquired and taken private by Thoma Bravo for $10.4B last year.
  • ReliaQuest founder and CEO, Brain Murphy – founded the cybersecurity company in 2007, 9 months before the Great Recession, bootstrapped it for 9 years, did general IT consulting work until pivoting to build a commercial product, as the cybersecurity market grew he raised capital in 2016 and built the company into $1B valuation unicorn status by 2021.
  • Delray Beach telemedicine company UpHealth Holdings, one of South Florida’s top public companies with $159M in revenue in 2022, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy two years after SPAC merger with GigCapital2 – follows $31.3M merger contract dispute judgement award to Needham & Co.
  • Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play Tech Center intends to open its first FL location at NeoCity in Osceola County – will identify 20 startups in the semiconductor industry and offer workshops, mentorship sessions, expos, and business development – County to pay Plug and Play $1.5M per year for three years with another $500K for startup costs related to the deal.
  • Tampa bitcoin mining company LM Funding purchases VC-backed New York blockchain startup Symbiont’s assets for $2.5M in bankruptcy sale – plans to raise additional capital to reinvigorate Symbiont and build it as a subsidiary in LM Funding’s growing crypto operations before eventually spinning out the network as its own publicly traded company.
  • St. Petersburg VC-backed genetics testing company InformedDNA acquires Boston’s gWell Health for an undisclosed amount – gWell founder and CEO Dr. Surya Singh replacing InformedDNA CEO Dan Lieber.
  • Miami’s Bird Global (NYSE: BRDS) acquires San Francisco’s shared electric bike and scooter operator Skinny Labs (dba Spin) for $19M, making it the largest micromobility operator in North America operating in 87% of the 50 most populous cities in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Miami’s Ryder System (NYSE: R) deploys its first 600 BrightDrop Zevo electric cargo vans to facilities across the U.S. as part of a long-term plan to convert its fleet to electric vehicles – plans to add 4,000 EV vans to its rental fleet by 2025.
  • SBA’s 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage Two $150K award winners – 2 out of 35 in FL: Seaworthy Collective, Ft. Lauderdale to support scaling restorative ocean and maritime startups and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council to support underserved rural founders within the region.
  • South Florida coding schools 4Geeks Academy (120 instructors, offices across the US, Latin America, and Europe) and Boca Code (Broward and Palm Beach Counties) merging with 4Geeks taking over operations – prospective Boca Code students will have the option of taking courses in Boca Raton, Miami or online, and will have access to a larger array of scholarships and program options.
  • Sweden’s Dynabyte, part of the QGroup of companies, which has highly specialized IT consultancy companies in 11 countries worldwide, opens US HQ in St. Petersburg – CEO Anders Lentell: “We toured Tampa, Orlando and Miami, but we fell in love with St. Pete.”
  • LatinTech Accelerator, a new program launched through a joint partnership between the Tampa Bay Latin Chamber of Commerce and Tampa Bay Wave, travelling to cities across Latin America to recruit startups to apply.
  • Pasco Economic Development Council opens new entrepreneur space in Holiday called the SMARTstart incubator co-located in the AmSkills Innovation Center with shared machinery, robotics, VR simulation, and 3D printers – joins the Wesley Chapel and Dade City SMARTStart incubators.
  • Nine Minds, a Tampa startup cofounded by Arnie Bellini, Tampa investor and previously CEO of ConnectWise, launches Octavia – adding AI-powered automation to managed service provider (MSP) software.
  • USF sues global medtech company Stryker Corp – says technology in their AR surgery product which allows an endoscope to create 3D modeling of organs based on a picture infringes on two USF patents.
  • Tampa Bay Inno Awards recognizes 21 companies and people representing talent, innovation and disruptive strategies in Tampa Bay’s tech ecosystem.

Upcoming technology entrepreneurship events on our calendar:

  • Miami Finance Forum Venture Capital Event, Wednesday, 7:30 am to 10 am, Four Seasons Brickell, Miami. A panel of VC firms (Buchanan, DeepWork, Liquidity Group, Medina Ventures, Rokk3R, and TheVentureCity) will discuss investment strategies, recent investments, fundraising, valuations, challenges, and opportunities in the current market and beyond for VCs, startups, and emerging companies.
  • Venture Atlanta 2023, Wednesday to Thursday, all-day, The Woodruff Arts Center and Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta. For 16 years, the annual Venture Atlanta conference has been selecting the most promising tech companies in the Southeast and bringing in top investment firms from across the country to hear them pitch. Venture Atlanta has helped launch more than 700 companies and raise $6.5B in funding to date, spinning out $17B in successful exits. Over 1,300 attendees and 350 funds expected to attend. Registration is open now with early bird pricing through June 30. Applications accepted through July 28.
  • TiECon 2023, Thursday, 8 am to 4 pm, Armature Works, Tampa. Celebrate the Power of Possibility at TIE Tampa Bay’s signature event. This year’s TIECON will highlight compelling truths about the entrepreneur’s journey, proving success is achieved when people are nurtured, provided access, and surrounded by a community.
  • Metacenter Global Week, October 16 to 18, all-day, Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando.  An innovation conference and exhibition that brings together Synapse Orlando and Immerse Global Summit under one roof.  Keynote presentations, workshops, panel discussions, and networking events that cover a wide range of topics, including: XR, AR, and VR, Metaverse and blockchain, and more.
  • FAU Tech Runway Maverick Reception, November 14, 6 pm to 8 pm, FAU Tech Runway, Boca Raton. Celebrate Tech Runway’s Venture Program graduates, mentors, and community partners.
  • Florida Venture Capital Conference, February 1 to 2, 2024, all-day, JW Marriott Marquis, Miami. The annual conference, now in its 33rd year, is one of the largest gatherings of venture investors in the Southeast, attracting 750+ attendees, including 200+ active venture investors. In addition to presentations by 50+ selected companies, the event features panel discussions, keynote speakers, and multiple networking and social events.
  • Business of Biotech 2024, February 23, 2024, all-day, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa. The Business of Biotech conference began in 2006 and has become a signature event in Tampa Bay attracting over 400 biotech executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and researchers from across the U.S.
  • Synapse Summit 2024, February 28, 2024, all-day, Amalie Arena, Tampa. Synapse Summit is where Florida’s top tech and innovation talent come together to connect, catalyze, and create, all in Tampa Bay, one of the nation’s fastest growing tech hubs.
  • eMerge Americas, April 18 to 19, 2024, all-day, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach. eMerge Americas is the premier global tech event convening in Miami and anchoring #MiamiTech Month 2024. eMerge Americas gathers the brightest minds and attracts business leaders, government officials, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe to discuss technologies transforming our lives. Learn from visionary leaders in technology. Experience and demo the latest technology advancements & solutions, all while networking with thought leaders and industry experts.

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