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LI startup funding fell 40% to $41 million in 2016

Long Island's top venture funding round in the

Long Island's top venture funding round in the fourth quarter of 2016 was $6.5 million to Saptalis Pharmaceuticals LLC, a Hauppauge-based developer of specialty generic drugs. Credit: Google Maps

Angel and venture capital funding for Long Island startups fell 40 percent to $40.95 million in 2016, but remained above the four-year average of $37.78 million since 2013, according to newly released data.

Angel investors use their own funds, as opposed to venture capitalists, who use pooled money. Angel funding sometimes precedes larger venture capital investments.

The number of deals also declined to 20 from 28 in 2015, but was well above the 12 and 13 deals recorded in 2014 and 2013, respectively, according to the report from PitchBook Data Inc. and the National Venture Capital Association. In the fourth quarter, emerging Long Island companies received $11.7 million compared to $3.7 million in the 2015 period.

Nationwide, venture funding slipped to $69.1 billion in 2016 from $79.3 billion the prior year, the Venture Monitor report said.

Bobby Franklin, president and chief executive of the NVCA, said in a statement that the lower funding levels nationwide reflected a “healthy normalization and a return to a much steadier pace of investment” after a spike in 2015.

The report said that “an updraft” in startup valuations in late 2014 and 2015 created “indigestion” in the marketplace, prompting a return to more sustainable levels.

Long Island’s top venture and angel funding rounds in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $6.5 million to Saptalis Pharmaceuticals LLC, a Hauppauge-based developer of specialty generic drugs, and $2.3 million to WorkRails, a Huntington-based maker of cloud software designed to let businesses find, hire and work with consultants.

Saptalis’ funding in November came from angel investors, the report said.

WorkRails’ October funding round was led by Manhattan-based Boldstart Ventures.

The metropolitan region, which includes Long Island, attracted $1.8 billion in fourth quarter venture funding, propelled by deals like the $180 million round for Manhattan-based cross-border payments platform Payoneer. That deal was the quarter’s second largest nationwide, behind only San Francisco real estate marketplace Opendoor at $210 million.

Andrew Spieler, a finance professor at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business, said that New York City has a leg up on Long Island as young entrepreneurs are drawn to the urban center’s ample transportation, coffee houses and trendy shops.

“You want to be in the middle of things,” he said. “You want to be in an innovation district.”

In the fourth quarter, New York State had 192 venture deals worth $1.6 billion, second among states to the 587 deals and $6.1 billion of California, which has startup concentrations around San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Diego.


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