Investment in Pittsburgh technology companies is significantly increasing due to an uptick in investment from existing, local venture capital, an influx of out-of-town investment, and now a new fund from Innovation Works called Riverfront Ventures. In just the first nine months of 2014, the amount of venture capital flowing to Pittsburgh’s growing technology companies is nearly $250 million, an amount that outstrips annual totals for each of the past five years. In this growing environment, Innovation Works (IW) is announcing a new fund, called Riverfront Ventures, a nearly $24 million fund to fuel local, early-stage companies.
“On the eve of Three Rivers Venture Fair, Pittsburgh has a lot to be excited about,” said Rich Lunak, President & CEO of Innovation Works, referring to the annual fair to showcase regional companies seeking venture funding from investors from across the country. Three Rivers Venture Fair kicks off Tuesday, Oct 7. “Pittsburgh companies have attracted more venture capital in the first nine months of this year than all of last year and we’re already seeing that 2014 will hit historic levels for venture investments. This is a terrific time to launch our own fund, Riverfront Ventures, when there is a robust pipeline of companies forming, attracting investment and growing here,” Lunak continued.
“Having the Riverfront Ventures fund as a new source of capital is a great addition to the region’s investment community,” according to Joe Ferrara, president & CEO of Wombat Security Technologies. “Riverfront’s backing helped us complete our recent series B investment round which is allowing us to expand our team, increase our market reach and achieve other growth milestones.”
Riverfront Ventures invests in the region’s early-stage technology companies from a variety of industries including information technology, life sciences, medical devices, healthcare IT, advanced electronics, robotics, energy, advanced materials, mobile applications and others. The fund was catalyzed by initial backing by the McCune Foundation. Other investors in the fund include several family offices and individual investors, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, the City of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Foundation and others. Riverfront has already invested in six companies: ALung Technologies, Complexa, NoWait, The Resumator, Wombat Security Technologies and RE2.