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Venture capital investing in Maryland companies down

Venture capital investing in Maryland companies down

Venture capital investing in Maryland fell to its lowest level in two years in the second quarter of 2016, with $72.3 million invested in 15 deals.

Fundraising among Maryland companies bucked the national trend, as venture capitalists poured $15.3 billion into companies, 20 percent more than in the first quarter, according to the MoneyTree Report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.

A $12.8 million raise by Baltimore financial technology startup blispay Inc. was the state's largest deal in the second quarter.

Blispay provides a financing program for small and midsize retailers to offer their customers. The program, which shoppers can sign up for on their phones, is intended to be the small-business answer to large retailers' store credit cards that allow customers to pay off purchases over time. The company was founded in 2014 by Greg Lisiewski, a former executive at Bill Me Later, the Timonium online payment company that was acquired by eBay and is now part of PayPal.

Four Baltimore deals accounted for a total of just under $27 million in venture capital investing in Maryland this quarter, including just over $7 million that WellDoc, which has a diabetes management app, received from Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC Inc.

The number of deals and total amount invested in Maryland companies are down compared to last quarter and the corresponding quarter of last year. Venture capitalists invested $109.8 million in 19 deals in Maryland in the first quarter of 2016. During the second quarter of 2015, investors gave $137.3 million to 20 Maryland companies.

The last time quarterly venture capital investing in Maryland companies dipped below $80 million was during the first half of 2014.

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