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Venture Capital in Florida

Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 11 years, 7 months ago

page director: Brian D. Butler


if you are interested in contributing see here




Venture Capital in Florida:


Venture capitalists have invested $6.4 billion in some 700 Florida companies since 2000, according to Enterprise Florida, a government economic development group.


Some of those companies have already attracted top venture capital firms. This year, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures invested $34.5 million in Lehigh Technologies, a Naples company that makes rubber powders for greener manufacturing. Benchmark Capital invested $12 million in Pentaho, an Orlando open-source business intelligence software company that has also been funded by Index Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.



List of Firms (VC & PE) in Florida

see also: Global Directory of Funding



Venture Firm Company Type City State
Bay County Small Business Incubator Incubator Lynn Haven Florida
Beaver Street Enterprise Center Incubator Jacksonville Florida
Center for Technology Enterprise & Development Inc Incubator Delray Beach Florida
Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida Incubator Boca Raton Florida
Enterprise North Florida Corporation Incubator Jacksonville Florida
Florida NASA Incubation Center Incubator Titusville Florida
Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center Incubator Gainesville Florida
Jay Malina International Trade Consortium Incubator Miami Florida
Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Institute Incubator Alachua Florida
Southwest Florida Enterprise Center Incubator Fort Myers Florida
STAR Technology Enterprise Center Incubator Largo Florida
The Adaugeo Group Incubator Pensacola Florida
University of Central Florida Technology Incubator Incubator Orlando Florida
Advantage Capital Partners Private Equity St. Petersburg Florida
Hispania Private Equity Private Equity Miami Florida
Grotech Capital Group Private Equity Boca Raton Florida
KLH Capital, L.P. Private Equity Tampa Florida
Power Equities, Inc. Private Equity Jacksonville Florida
North American Funds Private Equity Fort Lauderdale Florida
VC Intermediary, LLC Private Equity Plantation Florida
GreenLeaf Investment Management and Counsel Venture Association Boca Grande Florida
Easton Hunt Capital Partners, L.P. Venture Capital Miami Florida
Antares Capital Corporation Venture Capital Miami Lakes Florida
AAY Investments Group Venture Capital Sunrise Florida
GunnAllen Venture Partners Venture Capital Tampa Florida
J.P.Williams Associates L.L.C. Venture Capital   Florida
MetaTech Ventures, LLC Venture Capital Orlando Florida
Lee Munder Venture Partners Venture Capital Palm Beach Florida
Banyan Mezzanine Fund, L.P. Venture Capital Miami Florida
BOCF, LLC Venture Capital Tampa Florida
Crossbow Venture Partners LP Venture Capital West Palm Beach Florida
American Enterprises International Group Venture Capital Maimi Florida
American Certified Capital Venture Capital Tampa Florida
Inflexion Partners Venture Capital Orlando Florida
HIG Capital Venture Capital Miami Florida
Inflexion Partners Venture Capital Tampa Florida
Inflexion Partners Venture Capital Gainesville Florida
SI Ventures Venture Capital Fort Myers Florida




Details about firms - Private Equity Florida


see also:  mid-market private equity


Brockway Moran & Partners

  • smaller deals of <300 million
  • focus on growth companies (not as focused on "family owned" sector like Trivest
  • put 40 % equity in, and rest if financed with debt


Trivest Partners

Trivest Partners, L.P., a private investment firm, is a leading provider of equity for lower middle-market corporate acquisitions, recapitalizations and growth capital financings. Since its founding in 1981, Trivest has sponsored more than 145 acquisitions and recapitalizations, totaling more than $3.5 billion in value.

  • slightly smaller "space" than Brockway Moran & Partners
  • most deals average $50-$150mm
  • focus solely on "family owned businesses"
  • trend is favorable as they focus on "baby boomers" generation aging, and offer PE as an option to this group of business leaders that dont want to sell out to a "strategic buyer" (who might change the culture of the firm), and instead partner up with a PE firm, who will preserve the culture, and give an equity option to the employees...."help transition and transform them"
  • demographics play
  • credit crunch less of a factor
  • lower multiples than megadeals, putting less debt on the companies than the big deals (meaning that the credit crunch is less of a factor)
  • key to success:  really connecting with the founder, and staying "under the radar" of the mega funds (by partnering more with business founders, you build relationship, and hope the business will chose you rather than the bigger PE funds)


Private equity vs a Strategic buyer:

  • PE can be outbid by strategic buyers because they dont have the financing contingencies, and can do it off of their balance sheets
  • sales pitch:  "PE as an option to this group of business leaders that dont want to sell out to a "strategic buyer" (who might change the culture of the firm), and instead partner up with a PE firm, who will preserve the culture, and give an equity option to the employees...."help transition and transform them"


How are the deals financed?

  1. PE firms put cash in, and then they go externally looking for debt financing: 
  2. But, recently....with the credit crunch, there are alot of people out of the market that dont have CDO's, CLO's, redemptions, secondary debt is trading now at high 80's to low 90's cents on the dollar
  3. Brockway: "put 40 % equity in, and rest if financed with debt, and 60% of that is senior debt (Libor +400-450), and the rest is Mezzanine debt (15%)....which may be less leverage than goes into a home purchase.  see also our discussion about raising capital - ideas for the entrepreneur
  4. see our discussion on private equity fund raising and Venture Capital Fund Raising


Tax issues:

  • capital gains tax:  if there is a change in parties (US election '08), this tax will likely rise....effecting PE, and entrepreneurs



Interview on Squawk Box: 


Top Industries in Florida (a VC's perspective)



see article : "Southeast states vying for top spots as biotech hubs still in a horserace"



Venture Capital & the Furniture Business 


A venture capitalist firm has invested in Coconut Creek, Fla.-based Carls Patio Stores giving the outdoor living retailer the opportunity to expand its presence throughout the Sunbelt and California.   Cleveland-based Weinberg & Bell Group has made a "significant investment" in the company, said Jeff Baker, president of Carls Furniture. Carls Patio currently operates 12 stores in Florida and three in California. Baker said Carls Furniture and the management team are retaining about half of the ownership.


The deal has been in the works for about six months, Baker said, adding that a broker approached the retailer about partnering with Weinberg & Bell.

Weinberg & Bell focuses on middle-market companies for its investments. Carls Patio is not Weinberg & Bell's first step into the furniture business. The company lists Advance Sleep Concepts—The Spears Mattress Co. of Rome, Ga., which manufactures Englander bedding, as part of its portfolio. Gary Ecoff will remain president and a partner with Carls Patio.


"Because we sold the half, we ended up with a significant amount of capital," Baker said. "Now, we're very solid to weather the downturn."  Baker said Carls has now paid off all of its bank loans and extended its leases on Carls Furniture stores in North Palm Beach, Fla., and Stuart, Fla.



More Venture Capital in Florida


Venture capital investment down in Florida 

 Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Of the $115.5 million invested by venture capitalists in Florida during the first quarter, only $10 million landed in South Florida -- and all of that went to one company.


According to numbers released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters, Valor Healthcare in North Miami received the region's only investment: $10 million from Aurora Funds, Noro-Moseley Partners and an undisclosed investor. Valor develops and operates outpatient clinics.


Florida's investment market is down 29 percent from the first quarter of 2007, when $162 million was invested in 14 companies, representing an average investment of $11.6 million. The $115.5 million in this year's first quarter was distributed among eight companies, marking an average investment of $14.4 million.

Nationwide, more than $7.1 billion was invested in 922 deals in the first quarter, the fifth highest since 2001.


"Venture capitalists still have large amounts of money in their coffers, therefore it's no surprise to see a solid level of investing continue," said Tracy Lefteroff, global managing partner of the venture capital practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, in a news release. "VCs have weathered numerous economic cycles and will continue to fund companies with innovative ideas and solid business models, while they also stand behind their portfolio companies for the long term."


Florida still trails the nation's top five states that receive venture funding. California accounted for more than half of the nation's total, at $3.5 billion, or $8.5 million per deal. Massachusetts picked up $697.9 million in funding, representing nearly $7 million per deal.


New York had 51 deals worth $406.9 million, averaging slightly less than $8 million per deal. Texas and Colorado rounded out the top five, with $361.4 million and $297.7 million, respectively.


source:  South Florida Business Journal 



Finding Entrepreneurs in Florida:

see our discussion about startups in Florida


Networking & Events


see : http://www.floridaventureforum.org/




State-funded VC activity in Florida


Enterprise Florida Inc., the state's economic development and retention organization, is in the midst of creating a Florida Opportunity Fund. The fund will invest $30 million of its total of $35 million to invest seed capital and early stage venture capital funds.  The Florida Formation Act was enacted July 1 in an effort to fuel the economic development of startups and venture capital investments in Florida. As part of the legislation, the Florida Opportunity Fund will be established as part of the legislation and will earmark $30 million of its $35 million to in invest in seed capital and early stage venture capital funds. These investments would not go directly to individual businesses but would be comprised of a partnership with private venture capital funding, or through a fund-of-funds investment approach. Fund-of-funds is a vehicle designed to invest in a diversified group of funds.  read more here


The state of Florida wants to tap into the billions of venture capital dollars invested in young companies each year. It is seeking venture capital funds in which to invest money from the $29.5 million Florida Opportunity Fund, established by the state to funnel more venture capital to Florida start-ups.


The fund will look for regional and national venture capital funds that have done business in Florida and plan to invest in young Florida companies, particularly those developed at Florida universities and research institutions. Then, the fund will invest portions of its $29.5 million in those funds, with the goal of creating and growing Florida businesses.  read more here:  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/29/florida-the-next-hotbed-of-venture-capital/




Trends in Private Equity


The "credit crunch" may have dried up the "mega deals" of the recent past, but Private Equity of the middle market still seems to be doing very well, as is illustrated by some of the mid-market private equity firms in Florida.    Since the Credit crunch began, the mega deals of 1/2 billion or more are difficult to push through because of difficulty getting syndicates together, and securing enough debt.  In general, all multiples have come down (a turn to a turn and half)...See more of our private equity trends






















































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