Business Insider

Idaho to investors: Let’s make a deal

One of the charts accompanying this story. Click on the PDF link to see the complete set.
One of the charts accompanying this story. Click on the PDF link to see the complete set.

Idaho business leaders have long complained about how hard it is to persuade big out-of-state investors to sink money into our companies.

That may be a perception problem, John Hale says. Hale, chairman of the board of Trailhead, the new Boise nonprofit that helps startups attract investors, says a new report released by Idaho Technology Council documenting Idaho’s deal flow — the rate at which financiers receive investment pitches — may send a powerful message: Others are already investing in Idaho. You should, too.

“The deal report is critical to building our success story,” Hale says. “In any growing market you want new investors and repeat investors. Those investors want numbers. They want to know how your ecosystem is doing.”

The council, a tech-advocacy group, based its report on a survey of Idaho companies across all sectors. Not all businesses responded, so the report isn’t comprehensive. Hale said it doesn’t need to be to make its point.

“We have one of the greatest untold stories in the country,” he says. “We just need to do a better job letting people know how successful capital can be here.”

(The following sections are explanations accompanying charts in the print and e-edition presentations of this story. Click on the PDF link to see all of the charts.)


The number of merger-and-acquisition, private-placement and public-market deals has been stable the past four years. The value fluctuated, peaking at $10 billion in 2013, powered by Micron Technology’s purchase of Japanese competitor Elpida Memory for $2.5 billion.


Fifty-six percent of 2014’s $3.6 billion in deals involved tech, this pie chart shows. Idaho Technology Council founder Jay Larsen and outgoing Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer hope for more deals involving agriculture, including drones.


Whether buying or being bought, Idaho companies have brought healthy returns to investors. In some cases, a buying company responded to the survey. In others, the acquired company did.


These deals involve publicly traded companies, including Micron’s Elpida takeover.


These include investments by angel funds, venture capitalists and growth equity firms. Companies are either based in Idaho or received investments for Idaho operations. But the report does not reflect deals that brought $48 million to Boise wireless router developer CradlePoint and $15 million to Eagle timecard-software developer TSheets.

Zach Kyle: 208-377-6464 , @IDS_ZachKyle. This story appears in the Nov. 18-Dec. 15, 2015, edition of the Idaho Statesman’s Business Insider magazine.

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