Recap of the 2015 Madison Startup Scene

By Capital Entrepreneurs

Skyline_of_Madison_WisconsinP_webIn 2015, Madison startups launched new products, expanded to new markets, and closed deals with major companies. Their products and services were used by millions of people around the world, and generated multi-million dollar revenue streams.

Madison startups continued to have an increasing impact on the local economy. In 2015 they created 215 full-time jobs, and now employ over 675 people full-time (and 165 part-time). Tech startups raised $66.5M in funding in 2015, with 15 companies raising $1M or more (an increase of 50% over the prior year). The largest of these deals includeEatStreet ($15M), Healthfinch ($7.5M), Shoutlet ($5M), HealthMyne ($4.5M), Fetch Rewards ($4M), Catalyze ($4M), and Redox ($3.5M).

This is the third consecutive year that tech startups raised $40M or more, and this year saw an increasing number of local VC level activity from both established and new funds. This activity was complemented by a large percentage of imported capital that came from out-of-state investors. The connections formed by this imported capital help bridge the Madison startup scene with other startup hotbeds around the country, in particular San Francisco, New York, and Chicago. There were also a handful of acquisitions, includingShoutlet being acquired by SpredFast, and Quickstep Technologies being acquired by Pivotal.

Healthtech, foodtech, and gaming have shown potential as emerging industry segments. Following an increasing amount of attention last year, healthtech startups saw a lot of growth in 2015 and Madison has emerged as a leading healthtech hub. An increasing amount of foodtech startups are seeing success, and video game developers saw a lot of growth and are pushing towards critical mass. Read more …

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