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LumaStream funding deal highlights Q4 2018 venture activity

Margie Manning

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LumaStream lighting

LumaStream Inc., a St. Petersburg company that makes LED lighting systems for homes and businesses, was one of six companies in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area that raised venture backing in the fourth quarter of 2018.

LumaStream raised $730,000 in a Series B capital raise, and now has a market value of $55.7 million, according to the new PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor.

Deal activity and deal value declined in both Q4 and the full year of 2018 in the Tampa-St. Pete metro compared to 2017, Venture Monitor said.

Venture Monitor is one of two quarterly reports that tracks early-stage funding activity. The other one, the PricewaterhouseCoopers/CB Insights MoneyTree report, was released Monday.

Both focus on investor interest in startups, companies that hold promise for creating high-skill, high-wage jobs that can transform the economy. MoneyTree counts only actual dollars invested in a quarter, while Venture Monitor tags a broader array of deals.

The largest Q4 2018 deal in the Tampa-St. Pete metro was a $9.25 million investment in CULedger, a credit union service organization with a distributed ledger platform. It is unclear why Venture Monitor included the deal among local companies, however. CULedger lists its headquarters in Denver, but the company has a small staff and many of them work remotely, a spokeswoman said. That includes Dante Terrana, senior vice president of market development, who is based in the Tampa area.

Other Q4 2018 area deals were:

  • Dabbl, a digital advertising company in Tampa, raised $7.81 million
  • Cell Detect, a New Port Richey company that’s focused on eliminating illicit cell phone usage in prisons and jails, $2.05 million
  • Atmos, a Tampa company developing smart home control systems and accessories, $1 million
  • Proof Network, a Tampa company with a blockchain-based cloud computing platform for the global alcohol industry, $900,000

Nationally, it was a record year for venture capital investment, with nearly $131 billion invested across 8,948 deals in United States companies, the Venture Monitor said. It’s the first time annual capital investment eclipsed the $100 billion watermark set at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000. See the full report here.

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