New investment shows momentum in South Florida’s growing tech scene


In case there was any doubt that South Florida’s tech scene is gaining momentum, consider these recent funding deals:

Miami startup Blue Kite was bought by San Francisco’s mobile payment provider Xoom Corp. for roughly $15 million in cash and equity. BlueKite develops solutions to help people pay bills remotely, even across international borders. It has offices in Miami and Guatemala and employs 30 people.

Hollywood-based Magic Leap, which makes a wearable technology and product dubbed “Cinematic Reality,” closed a new round of financing that brings funding to date beyond $50 million. CEO Rony Abovitz had worked for years at MAKO Surgical, a maker of robotic surgery tools based in Davie.

Two more South Florida companies are seeking equity through crowd-funding: LinguaSys and Kleo, according to tech writer Nancy Dahlberg of The Miami Herald.

LinguaSys of Boca Raton makes software that helps computers for global companies better understand and respond to human text. It seeks up to $1.5 million on EarlyShares, an equity crowdfunding platform that is based in Miami.

Kleo of Miami offers an online-only banking solution for schools and teachers to manage discretionary funds. It is looking for $1 million on EearlyShares. Kleo is led by James Rosenberg, who started the nonprofit Adopt-A-Classroom that raised more than $25 million, Dahlberg reported.

In 2013, venture capitalists invested $194 million in software companies in Florida , according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. That total includes $93 million invested in OpenPeak of Boca Raton, which makes enterprise software for mobile devices; $65 million in Open English of Miami, an online English-language school; and $29.3 million in Miami’s CloudCare, which provides software to help doctors run their offices more efficiently.

The funding comes amid a growing movement to make greater Miami into the tech hub for the Americas. The mega-conference eMerge Americas set for May 2-6 aims to be a catalyst for that push.

For more on the vision for Miami as a regional tech hub, read the article on WorldCity’s latest Tech Connections featuring millionaire tech entrepreneur Manny Medina by clicking here.


































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