The latest edition of the Startengine Index shows that Los Angeles County continues to be a hotbed for companies tapping into the regulation crowdfunding market.

Pasadena-based Edisun Microgrids Inc. raised the second-most capital nationwide in November, according to crowdfunding filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Led by Idealab founder Bill Gross, the solar power company pulled in more than $861,000 from unaccredited investors. That adds to the $8.5 million Gross told the Business Journal in October the company had raised in the past year from individual investors and venture capitalist outfits.

Edisun’s haul helped L.A. cement its lead as the king of crowdfunding. The $1.5 million raised overall in November was the most of any county in the nation during that period, and put the total amount raised here at $8.3 million.

The overall regulation crowdfunding continues to get traction, although the figures raised are, somewhat by design, small – companies can only raise a maximum of $1.1 million. The total dollar amount raised by U.S. companies utilizing the new offering now sits at $76.6 million since regulation crowdfunding started in May 2016.

Those Other Offerings…

Crowdfunding may be en vogue, but the old fashioned initial public offering came roaring back in 2017, with both the number of offerings and the total dollar amount raised hitting highs not seen in several years, according to a report released by Ernst & Young last week.

The total number of initial offerings worldwide is projected to be more than 1,600, which would be the best number in a decade, according to the report. Those offerings raised an estimated $189 billion.

L.A. and the western part of the U.S. had a similarly good 2017, Ernst & Young Partner Scott Porter said. With 40 IPOs raking in nearly $9 billion, the year was comparable to 2014, one of the strongest recent years for offerings in the western U.S., according to Porter.

Snap Inc.’s March offering, which netted the company some $3.4 billion, was a huge part of the region’s total haul, but Porter said big IPOs like this could become commonplace as several other tech unicorns are looking to go public in the near future.

“More of these unicorns are coming into the marketplace,” Porter said. “That’s what we’re looking at heading into 2018. There’s a fair share of them in SoCal positioned to deliver a number of mega deals in 2018.”

Blockchain Bits & Bites

Curisium, a Manhattan Beach–based start-up company that allows health care systems and biotech firms to process contracts through blockchain technology, raised $3.5 million from investors, officials announced last week.

Holosense Inc., doing business as Curisium, raised the funds in a seed round from five investors. Founded late last year, the company employs blockchain tech to allow insurance companies, health care providers and biotech firms to engage in secure business contracts.

Blockchain, which is best-known as the underlying technology upon which cryptocurrency bitcoin is based, uses distributed computing and cryptography to securely share digital information.

Los Angeles has become a bit of hub for blockchain ventures, with companies like Gem of Venice seeing success applying the technology to non-currency related marketplaces, such as health care, insurance and banking.

Have a deal tip? Henry Meier can be reached at hmeier@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8321.

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