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Lincoln Companies Continue To Attract Attention — And Large Bucks – In 2022

It could be a long time before another year like 2021 comes around for Lincoln startups.

In 2021, Lincoln-based companies raised approximately $300 million in venture financing. That was not just the most for a single year among Lincoln businesses, but it also surpassed the previous best for the state.

Monolith was the first to raise $120 million in venture financing from a group of big-name investors, including SK Inc., NextEra Energy, and Warburg Pincus.

The high-tech company is investing $1 billion to expand its carbon black production plant in Hallam and add a plant that will produce anhydrous ammonia using hydrogen generated by the carbon black process.

While Monolith was not created in Lincoln — it moved its headquarters here from California a few years ago — the city’s indigenous startups did.

BasicBlock, a financial technology business that makes it easier for truckers to get paid, was at the top of the list, having raised $78 million in November from a number of investors, including Nelnet.

That was the most money raised by any company not called Hudl among domestic startups.

Virtual Incision, which makes a surgical robot that can conduct minimally invasive abdominal surgeries like colon resections, earned a $46 million investment in November, making it a strong month for Lincoln entrepreneurs.

Virtual Incision has already invested roughly $100 million in venture capital since 2015, second only to Hudl among Lincoln-based companies.

A Lincoln man’s teen investing app has received a $500,000 investment.

With a $30 million infusion of venture cash, a Lincoln construction company hits the jackpot.

The other large venture capital raise last year was CompanyCam’s $30 million in October. The company developed a photo app to assist contractors in documenting and tracking their jobs.

A couple of $500,000 investments, one in March for Pawlytics, a company that produces software that helps manage small-animal shelter and pet rescue organizations, and another in November for Bumper, a company with an app focused on helping teenagers invest, were among the other publicly disclosed investments.

Over the last year, there hasn’t been a lot of news about startups collecting money. Invest Nebraska, based in Lincoln, announced a partnership with Burlington Capital, based in Omaha, to launch a venture capital fund focused on agricultural entrepreneurs in Nebraska and other Midwestern states.

By the end of the year, the fund hoped to have raised $11 million.

Other noteworthy startup news from Lincoln:

* Don’t Panic Labs, which provides software and engineering development services to other businesses, moved to a larger facility in the Larson Building at 13th and Q streets after more than a decade in the former Salvation Army building at Eighth and P streets.

* The Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development’s LaunchLNK program, which gives $25,000 scholarships as well as free professional services and access to mentors, welcomed a new crop of businesses in early 2022.

FanWord, Senior Care Finder, Sentinel Fertigation, Tiiga, and Little Movements Apparel were among the five startups named to the program. All five businesses are located in Lincoln.

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