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Seedfunders closes three deals in one week

Margie Manning



David Chitester, CEO, Seedfunders.

Seedfunders, a St. Petersburg-based early stage investment firm, had its best week ever last week in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seedfunders closed three funding deals totaling nearly $500,000. Two of those deals were follow-ons to earlier investments and one was a new investment. Seedfunders also signed a term sheet for a future funding and participated in a follow-on funding with SeedFundersOrlando, said David Chitester, Seedfunders co-founder and CEO.

Most of the startups drawing investor interest have technology or services that are in demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Seedfunders co-founder explains how startup investing continues during Covid-19

Here’s a closer look at the new deals:

• Seedfunders raised $180,000 in new funding for Veravas, a medical diagnostic company with offices in South Carolina and Minnesota. The company plans to open an office in Florida. Veravas developed technology to improve the accuracy of blood tests and currently is working on an antibody test for Covid-19.

Last month, Veravas said it had a strategic alliance with True Diagnostics Inc. to develop and commercialize a 15-minute test that could determine if Covid-19 antibodies were detected in the blood of people previously undiagnosed with the disease.

• Seedfunders invested $200,000 in a follow-on investment in Intelligent Observation, a  a Miami company with technology to track handwashing compliance to control infections in hospitals. Seedfunders earlier was part of a $500,000 funding round that also drew Dreamit Ventures, a fund and accelerator in Philadelphia in which Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is a partner, and Jumpstart Foundry, a seed stage healthcare innovation fund in Nashville.

• Seedfunders also made a $100,000 follow-on investment in Polar Controller, a Jacksonville startup with patented smart technology for the cooling industry. That comes about nine months after Seedfunders’ initial $500,000 investment in the company.

• Another follow-on investment was for ViewStub, an Orlando startup with event streaming and ticketing technology. Seedfunders in St. Petersburg participated with SeedFundersOrlando in the $50,000 follow-on round, only a month after an initial $100,000 investment.

“The interest has spiked because of how some of these companies can help with the new normal – in detection, hand wash monitoring and remote viewing,” Chitester said.

For the most part, investors aren’t worried about economic volatility right now.

“Between us and Orlando we have 40 partners and most of them are eager to invest in these kinds of deals right now. Valuations are reasonable,” Chitester said.

Seedfunders partners will get positions on the board of advisors or board of management at each of the companies.

“We’ll help them get through this downturn and help them get to where they can get additional funding and move on from there,” Chitester said.

While Seedfunders has a term sheet for another deal, the pipeline is getting tighter, possibly because there are not any live pitch events taking place right now.

Seedfunders completed all of its recent deals using Zoom and other remote technologies.

NOTE: St. Pete Catalyst Publisher Joe Hamilton is a partner in Seedfunders in St. Petersburg.

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