Report: Investment in Vermont Companies Soared Nearly 500 Percent Last Year
Source: Seven Days
Investment in Vermont companies soared nearly 500 percent last year, mostly due to massive capital infusions at the electric-aviation company Beta Technologies and Williston-based Polly, formerly known as DealerPolicy.
About $600 million in capital flowed into the state, including $368 million to Beta, $140 million to Polly, and $17 million to the lesser-known SuperPlastic, a Burlington-based toy and entertainment company. That’s well above the 2020 figure of $106 million.
The year-over-year percentage increase is the largest in the country, said Cairn Cross, cofounder of Fresh Tracks Capital, who creates an informal report each year on investment funding in the state. Nine of the 38 deals last year were with companies based outside Chittenden County, he said.
Cross used data from the Seattle research company Pitchbook to come up with his national comparison. Venture capital investment nationwide nearly doubled year-over-year, Pitchbook said.
Cross’ data on the Vermont deals came from Securities and Exchange Commission filings of private fundraising in 2021. FreshTracks participated in about a third of the Vermont deals described in Cross’ report.
While Cross acknowledged that the three large investments last year are anomalies, he thinks there has been a shift in Vermont’s entrepreneurial community that will lead to further increases in both the number and size of deals in coming years.
“Vermont companies are looking for scale-up potential, and quickly,” he said. “To do that, they’re going to get outside capital.”
It’s clear Vermont’s tech economy is growing. A report that the Vermont Technology Alliance released Monday says Vermont ranked first in the nation for the percentage increase in new technology businesses in 2021. The report, based on data from the nonprofit IT association CompTIA, counted 15,961 tech jobs in Vermont last year, with an average salary of $76,943. Vermont’s mean wage in 2021 was $55,000, according to the state Department of Labor.
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