Early stage venture capital roundup

Compiled by Alastair Goldfisher

SAN FRANCISCO (Private Equity Week) - If the first week of 2010 is any indication, the new year will see a resurgence of early-stage startups. Thomson Reuters tracked at least eight young tech companies that raised its first institutional round of funding in the past week.

Among the companies to raise cash from venture investors is the drug developer TheraVasc, a Cleveland-based company that raised $500,000 in total seed stage funding from business development organization JumpStart Inc. and life sciences investment firm Portal Capital.

TheraVasc Inc. will use the funding, which was split equally by JumpStart and Portal Capital, to finish the first phase of human testing of its first drug, an oral formulation of sodium nitrite intended to promote the regrowth of blood vessels in patients with peripheral artery disease and other conditions involving poor blood flow to the extremities. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration already has approved the use of sodium nitrite to treat other conditions.

The list of startup to raise financing last week include the following:


Clean Power Finance Inc.

San Francisco, CA

Amount/Round: $6.9 million/Series A

Investors: Claremont Creek Ventures, Clean Pacific Ventures, Sand Hill Angels and individual investor Gary Kremen

Details: Provides financing applications and other support services for solar installers.


Redwood City, CA

Amount/Round: $2.4 million/Series A

Investors: Claremont Creek Ventures

Details: Provides residential energy management solutions. Nat Goldhaber, managing director of Claremont Creek, has joined the board.



San Mateo, CA

Amount/Round: $2 million/seed stage

Investors: Individual investors reportedly include Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital; Alfred Lin of Zappos COO and CFO; and Peter Sperling, director of Apollo Group, according to published press reports

Details: Operates an interactive terrestrial radio service.



Ann Arbor, MI

Amount/Round: $11 million/Series A

Investors: Venture Investors (led), Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, Early Stage Partners and TGap Ventures

Details: Develops image-guided system that ablates tissue. The company’s technology was licensed from the University of Michigan.


Boulder, CO

Amount/Round: $1 million/Series A

Investors: DFJ Mercury (led), Starz Media, Northstar Equity Investors, GC&H Investments, and individual investors David Cohen, Chris Sacca, Jake Nickell, Paige Craig and Dave McClure

Details: Develops a community and digital content delivery platform for comic books. The company was originally named Take Comics, and was part of the 2009 TechStars program in Boulder.



Cleveland, OH

Amount/Round: $500,000/seed stage

Investors: JumpStart Inc. and Portal Capital

Details: Develops a treatment using sodium nitrate for peripheral artery disease.



Salt Lake City, UT

Amount/Round: NA/seed stage

Investors: Salt Lake Life Science Angels

Details: Provides software-as-a-service solutions for Web-based multi-user image collaboration.



Boston, MA

Amount/Round: $4 million/Series A

Investors: Google Ventures and Highland Capital Partners

Details: Operates a scavenger hunt using cellular technology and short messaging services. Rich Miner of Google Ventures has joined the board. The company previously raised $700,000 from Highland.