Ann Arbor based Renaissance Venture Capital has announced a closure of its Fourth Fund with $77.5 million. Overall, the venture capital firm has closed more than $280 million in funding over the past 13 years.
“Through our Renaissance Funds, we’ve created a model that shows how a combination of capital and connectivity can grow the innovation economy in places like Michigan, and how by connecting innovators, investors, and potential major customers, we can benefit all three groups as well as the region,” says Chris Rizik, CEO and fund manager at Renaissance Venture Capital.
“I’m especially proud of Renaissance IV because we did most of our fundraising during the uncertain days of 2020. Even with the pandemic, our investors still valued the innovation we brought and wanted to be part of our work going forward.”
By investing in various top venture capital firms across the nation, Renaissance Venture Capital provides extra support for these firms to enter the startup business sector. When Renaissance invests in a venture capital, it ties the funds and their startups with large communities and organizations looking for potential innovation.
“We are pleased to be an investor in a fund like Renaissance that has supported innovation in areas such as health, security, and technology,” says Anthony Stefani, a director in the CFO office at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in Detroit. “It also has enabled Michigan start-ups to play a bigger role in these economic sectors.”
As a Michigan based funder, Renaissance has invested $2 billion into Michigan companies. The VC firm also has helped created hundreds of jobs in the state, with an average annual pay of $80,000.
One of Renaissance’s main strategies for Michigan funding is the semi-annual UnDemo Day program (May 18). The event invites hundreds of funders from across the country, attracting as much capital as possible to Michigan. At the event, the funders are presented with more than 50 potential Michigan start-ups. Funders are then able to meet one on one with the company to converse on potential investment — last year 15 Michigan start-ups successfully earned funding.
“Renaissance connected Orbion Space Technology to its Series A lead investor, Material Impact Fund, at an UnDemo Day event,” says Brad King, CEO of Orbion Space Technology, a manufacturer of electronic propulsion plasma thrusters used in satellites located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “Last month, we closed on a $20-million Series B investment round. Renaissance’s assistance with that early capital infusion through its UnDemo Day was an extremely important event in growing our company.”
According to a recent Crunchbase report, Michigan has seen the greatest increase in venture investment among all 50 states. Venture capital dollars in Michigan have spiked nearly 886 percent since 2016, growing from around $300 millionto about $3.1 billion last year.
“It has been gratifying to see not only the financial success of our work at Renaissance, but also the impact we’ve had in driving local economic growth, innovation, and jobs,” says Rizik. “Like never before, the rest of the country is noticing the power of what is happening in the Midwest, and we believe our efforts with Renaissance IV can help to push the region to even greater heights.”
To view DBusiness’ exclusive list of every venture capital firm in Michigan, along with private equity firms, angel investors, and more, visit here.