Flyover Cities draw startup funding | MN’s Dispatch raises $50M

What is fueling Flyover Country innovation? In this weekly feature, we share a variety of announcements covering funding, acquisitions, exits, grants and everything in between. Got something to celebrate? Click here to share your story.

Big gain in VC funding in Flyover Country

ST. LOUIS, MO–In 2011, Silicon Valley venture firms only invested $3 billion in startups outside of the Bay Area, New York, and Boston. Last year, that figure grew to $13 billion, according to data from Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm Revolution, and it’s projected to continue growing. St. Louis, which in the past decade has experienced significant growth in startup fundraising, lucrative exits, and the number of locally based funding organizations, is certainly in the game.

Minneapolis launches $50M VC fund

MINNEAPOLIS, MN–Partners in the Forge North startup coalition announced the establishment of the MSP Equity Fund. The $50 million venture capital fund of funds will invest in at least 10 venture capital firms around the country. Those firms will then commit to invest all of that back into Minnesota-based startups with minority and women founders.

RE2 to be acquired

PITTSBURGH, PA–Utah-based Sarcos Technology and Robotics Corporation has reached a definitive merger agreement to acquire Pittsburgh-based RE2, Inc., a developer of autonomous and teleoperated mobile robotic systems for use in the aviation, construction, defense, energy and medical industries. Consideration for the transaction is $100 million, consisting of $30 million in cash, which Sarcos expects to fund with cash on hand, and $70 million of Sarcos common stock.

$50M in funding for Dispatch

BLOOMINGTON, MN—Logistics tech startup Dispatch raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding. Dispatch provides on-demand logistics support for companies that need to deliver products like construction supplies or plumbing equipment to construction sites or other businesses. The money came from NYC company PeakSpan Capital and will allow Dispatch to hire more employees and expand into more markets.