Venture capital investment in Michigan companies during the third quarter reached its highest level in 12 years, according to data released today.
Almost all of the $112 million went to two companies. Troy-based Protean Electric, which plans to manufacture an in-wheel electric drive system for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, received $73 million from three venture capital firms and the city of Liyang, China.
Allen Park-based EcoMotors International, which has developed a more fuel-efficient diesel engine for vehicles, obtained $32.5 million from Braemar Energy Ventures, Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures. Twelve other Michigan companies obtained a total of $7 million.
Altogether, the $112 million invested in the third quarter was the highest since $143 million went to 17 Michigan companies in the first quarter of 2000, according to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
So far this year, $186 million in venture capital has been invested in 35 Michigan companies. That’s more than double the weak levels seen last year, when just $85 million went to 36 companies.
The increase in venture investment in Michigan comes amid a decline in venture activity nationwide.
Through the first three quarters of this year, total venture capital investment in U.S. companies fell 9.5% to $20 billion from $22.1 billion in the year-ago period. The total number of deals dropped 10%.
“We’re seeing fewer new venture funds being raised, which means less capital is available for new investments,” Tracy Lefteroff, global managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ venture capital practice, said in a statement.
Katherine Young, Detroit Free Press.