Medical technology companies raked in a record-setting haul of investment dollars in 2015, according to a new report by the Medical Alley Association (previously LifeScience Alley).
The industry booster group’s annual investment report documented $434.9 million invested in 101 companies during the last year. That exceeds last year’s 87 companies receiving a total of $430.9 million by about 1 percent. The fourth quarter of 2015 was also noted as the best since early 2009.
In the past three years, nearly $1.3 billion has been raised.
“This level of funding is a testament to Minnesota’s position as a global leader,” Cheryl Matter, vice president of intelligence and research at Medical Alley Association, said in a statement. “These investments help ensure that companies across the state and region continue to innovate and set new standards in health technology.
Money invested in medical device companies made up the lion’s share in 2015, totaling $302 million raised by 46 companies. But digital health grew at a breakneck pace to over $67 million (22 companies) – a 59 percent increase from 2014.
The amount raised by other subsectors were $28.8 million to pharmaceuticals, $27.2 million to diagnostics, $6.5 million to research tools and $3.3 million to other companies in med tech.
While a plurality of companies received less than $1 million, several were able to raise tens of millions. NX Thera, a Maple Grove-based urological care company, led the pack with $43 million of investment funding. Roseville-based EnteroMedics, which offers a pacemaker-like device for weight-loss treatment, received $41 million. Maple Grove-based Conventus Orthopaedics raised $23.4 million.
A total of 44 companies received their first round of funding in 2015, the highest number since Medical Alley Association started measuring in 2009. Medical startup activity in the region has not gone unnoticed to others around the country: Venture capital funder Square 1 Bank opened an office in the Twin Cities a year ago after seeing the numbers.
“Investment in life sciences remains robust and it’s very encouraging to see the increase in the number of companies receiving their first round of funding,” Jay McNeil, managing director of Square 1’s life science investment division, said in a statement. “It is this activity that contributed to Square 1 opening a new office in Minneapolis a year ago, expanding our footprint in the life sciences and venture capital communities in the Midwest.”
Over 40,000 people work in the med tech, pharmaceutical, biotech, digital health and related fields throughout the state.
The full report can be viewed here.

Like what you just read? To receive business news directly in your inbox each Tuesday and Thursday, sign up for our free e-newsletter, Briefcase, and be sure to join the conversation by commenting below.