Miami University alumni entrepreneurs reach new funding heights

Aerial photo of part of Miami campus

By Addie Rosenthal, University Communications and Marketing

According to PitchBook, the leading financial data and technology company, 2021 “began with a bang in VC activity and ended in spectacular fashion,” eclipsing the record set in 2020 for venture capital raised. U.S. venture capital-backed companies raised $329.6 billion in 2021, nearly double the amount of venture capital raised of $156.2 billion in 2020, which was also a record. Among those numbers – 70 Miami alumni-founded/-led companies that raised a staggering $10.6 billion.

Across the board, investment activity (measured in terms of total dollars raised and total funding transactions) for seed and angel, early- and late-stage companies all hit records, as did investment activity for companies that raised so-called VC mega-rounds (sized $100 million or more) with 819 deals totaling $190.6 billion.

2020 and 2021 marked new highs for Miami University alumni-founded/alumni-led high growth companies as well. Seventy Miami alumni-founded/-led companies closed at least one funding round of $1 million or more, and collectively, those companies closed 99 funding rounds that raised more than $10 billion during the two-year period.

On a per-company basis, these companies raised an average of $151.5 million during that period. Three companies - MRI Software, Virtusa, and Affordable Care, closed at least one round of $1 billion or more. Seven companies - Olive, Indigo Agriculture, GRIID Infrastructure, Arrive Logistics, Paycor, IMA Software, and Ivy Rehab - closed at least one round between $100 million and $1 billion. Columbus-based Olive closed three venture funding rounds of $100 million or more during between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021. Firework, Professional Fighters League (PFL), Loop, Augmedics, Elevian, and Circulo Health closed at least one round between $50 million – $100 million.

Companies on the list include the largest venture funding round and at the highest valuation in the history of the state of Ohio (Olive), the fastest growing logistics/freight forwarder (Arrive Logistics) and the fastest growing skin care company made specifically for tattoos (Mad Rabbit) in the nation, and the fastest growing professional sports league in the world (Professional Fighters League).

The John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship’s $500,000 undergraduate student-led seed stage venture fund, RedHawk Ventures, is an investor in two of the companies included among the 70 Miami alumni-led/alumni-founded companies on the list (Mad Rabbit and OROS).

A list of the top cumulative funding totals for Miami University alumni-founded/alumni-led high growth companies during 2020-2021 is available here.