Money flows to Boulder-area companies

All of a sudden, money seems to be flowing into the Boulder Valley. Consider some of the major recent financial transactions that have benefited companies based in, or with ties to, Boulder and Broomfield counties:

• Rally Software Development Corp. of Boulder raised $84 million in an initial public offering in April, adding another $138 million in a follow-on public offering in July, much of the latter offering going to key executives and venture-capital firms.

• Noodles & Co. Inc., based in Broomfield, raised $96.4 million in an IPO in June, with the company’s stock price more than doubling just a day after its launch. Noodles operates 343 restaurants, including 291 company-owned and 52 franchised locations.

• Array BioPharma Inc., based in Boulder, could receive $376 million as part of an agreement with New Jersey-based Celgene Corp. Celgene will have exclusive rights to license several Array drugs currently in clinical development.

• Arca BioPharma Inc. raised $18 million through a stock offering to help develop a drug to treat irregular heartbeat.

• Sprouts Farmers Market announced a $246.5 million public offering. Sprouts last year merged with Boulder-based Sunflower Market. The IPO should enable Sprouts to expand its retail footprint.

• WhiteWave Foods Co. raised $391 million in an IPO last fall. The Broomfield-based company produces Horizon Organic milk, Silk soymilk and a variety of dairy products and coffee creamers.

• SolidFire Inc., a Boulder-based developer of solid-state data-storage systems, raised $31 million in series C funding, led by Samsung Venture Investment Corp. SolidFire moved to Boulder from Atlanta in 2011.

• Accera Inc., based in Broomfield, raised $35 million in venture capital in the second quarter, more than any other company in Colorado. Accera produces Axona, a powder that can be mixed in drinks and food for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Other companies also are reaping the rewards of an improved equity market and increased investor confidence. This comes even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to allow advertising for private offerings for the first time. While it’s unclear what effect that will have on private companies’ ability to raise funds, it should allow such firms to cast a wider net to attract potential investors.

In the Boulder Valley, the transactions cited above — and there were many more on a smaller scale — demonstrate the diverse nature of the local economy. While technology continues to attract widespread interest, ventures such as White Wave, Noodles, Array and Sprouts also are able to secure hundreds of millions of dollars. Solid track records, a proven business model, sound balance sheets, well-known brands — each of these leads to interest from investors.

We’ve also seen that same dynamic at work in terms of mergers and acquisitions involving Boulder Valley companies.

What’s next? Whether it’s high-tech, natural and organics, the outdoor sector, bioscience, retail/restaurants or other sectors, expect plenty of additional private offerings, venture-capital fundings and, yes, the occasional public offering or two … or three … or four …

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-440-4950 or


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