Calendar 2022 was Wisconsin’s second highest year for early stage investment dollars at $640 million

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Investments in young, Wisconsin-based companies by angel and venture capitalists and other equity investors totaled $640.2 million in 2022, far from the previous year’s total of $868.8 million but still the second-highest investment total on the books.

Research by the Wisconsin Technology Council for its annual “Wisconsin Portfolio” report captured 107 separate deals involving 116 unique funds, networks and accelerators, including at least 76 out-of-state investors taking part in 32 of the 107 rounds.

The top 10 deals by dollar size accounted for nearly three-quarters of the dollar total, with Fetch Rewards leading the way for the third straight year with $240 million in funding on its own.

Data collected by the Tech Council Investor Networks showed average deal sizes grew in terms of dollars invested, which was consistent with national trends during what was considered a “down year” coast to coast. Median deal size was stable at roughly $1 million, a sign that young firms attracted financing, as well.

Over the eight-year period beginning in 2015, Wisconsin early stage companies have raised nearly $3.5 billion. There were $209.5 billion in early stage investments 2015, $276.5 million in 2016, $231 million in 2017, $300.7 million in 2018, $454.4 million in 2019, $483.6 million in 2020, and nearly $869 million in 2021.

The early stage investment outlook for 2023 in Wisconsin and elsewhere is less strong, with trends in the first two quarters of the year reflecting a tight deal environment. The National Venture Capital Association recently reported that investment totals in the United States have declined for seven straight quarters.

“Wisconsin continues to attract more angel and venture capital, including a rising share of money from outside the state, but more work must be done to recognize the state’s full potential,” said Tech Council President Tom Still. “The Legislature’s decision to recapitalize the Badger Fund of Funds and the expected deployment of State Small Business Credit Initiative dollars will help, but we’re still not keeping pace with our Midwest neighbors.”

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