There’s good news and bad news in the year-end data we have on venture capital investments made in Maine startups during 2014.

On the one hand, the amount of VC invested in Maine startups fell roughly 32 percent, from $27.5 million in 2013 to $18.7 million in 2014. On the other, the number of companies who received VC increased from five in 2013 to 12 in 2014, the highest number of deals in one year since 15 closed in 2000, the year the dot-com bubble burst.

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The data is from the MoneyTree report, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association using data from Thomson Reuters.

Nationally, venture capitalists poured $48.3 billion into in 4,365 deals. Similar to Maine, that’s the highest year-end total value and number of deals since 2000, when there was $105 billion invested in 8,042 deals.

While the MoneyTree Report offers an approximation of the number and amount of VC deals that went on in Maine, there are deals the report misses, and some deals are listed without a value. It’s also important to note the report does not track investments from individual investors, known as angel investors, unless they were part of an investment round that included a VC firm.

“It’s an approximation for what’s happening in the state, but its not all inclusive,” said Tim Agnew, principal at VC firm Masthead Venture Partners, which has offices in Portland and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The drop in total dollar value is not a good sign, but there is at least one explanation for the decrease, according to Agnew. He claims the loss of the Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit program put a dent in last year’s numbers.

The Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit program encourages investment in early-stage Maine companies (defined as companies with less than $5 million in gross annual sales) by providing investors with a tax credit worth 50 percent of the total investment, up to $500,000, over a four-year period. The program was created in 1989 and reached its statutory lifetime cap of $30 million early in 2013, which means the credit wasn’t available to investors in 2014.

“It was a slower year in part because we didn’t have the Seed Capital Tax Credit and I think, or am guessing, we’ll see a bump this year because that credit is coming back,” Agnew said.

The Legislature revived the tax credit in 2013, discarding a lifetime cap in favor an annual cap of $5 million. However, the tax credit didn’t become available until late 2014, and, when it did, it offered only $675,000 worth of tax credits for budgetary reasons. In 2015, the program will provide $4 million worth of tax credits and then $5 million in 2016 and each year afterward.

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Important to note that of Maine’s total $18.7 million in VC investment, roughly 86 percent went to a single company. The beneficiary was Putney Inc., the Portland-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing generic drugs for pets. Putney raised roughly $16 million in a Series D round during the second quarter from Advantage Capital Partners and Safeguard Scientifics Inc., which brings the total amount of capital the company has raised since being founded in 2006 to $57 million.

That left 11 other companies to pull in roughly $2.7 million (though, as already noted, it’s likely a higher amount as the dollar value of a few deals was not disclosed). Behind Putney was Hyperlite Mountain Gear Inc. in Biddeford, which raised $900,000 from the Maine Venture Fund and another undisclosed firm, and Orono Spectral Solutions Inc. in Bangor, which raised $600,000 from the Maine Venture Fund and another undisclosed firm. Other companies that received VC in 2014 were Harbor Technologies in Brunswick ($433,000 from an undisclosed firm), Certify LLC in Portland ($325,000 from an undisclosed firm), Tilson Technology in Portland ($250,000 from CEI Ventures), Quoddy Inc. in Perry ($75,000 from Advantage Capital Partners) and Wentworth Technology Inc. in Saco ($30,000 from CEI Ventures), according to the MoneyTree report.

In a good example of how the report does not pick up all capital being raised by Maine companies, Certify raised “substantially” more than the $325,000 listed, according to Robert Neveu, the company’s president.

Neveu said the actual amount raised last year by Certify, which provides digital expense-report software to businesses, is “more than 10 times” that figure. He declined to disclose an exact amount, however, because it’s a private company. Most of that money was raised from private investors, which is why it didn’t show up in the report. Again, the report offers an approximation of VC activity in Maine. It’s not meant to be comprehensive.

The 12 deals is noteworthy as it’s the highest number of VC investments since 2000, which was a standout year for Maine companies. That year investors provided $140.2 million in cash equity in 15 deals to Maine startups.

Because states differ in the size of their populations, a good way to compare states is by looking at their VC per capita. Maine’s $18.7 million translates to roughly $14.05 of VC per capita, which places the state 33rd in the nation, including the District of Columbia. For comparison’s sake, California is at the top of that list. VC investors poured $27.2 billion into California startups in 2014, which translates to roughly $708 per capita. Our neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, ranks second, attracting roughly $4.7 billion in VC investment, or $699.05 per capita.

Maine will never be Silicon Valley, but Agnew said there have been enough successful companies that investors are paying attention.

“There’ve been enough over the years that have been successful that there’s plenty of investors willing to put capital to work in companies in Maine,” he said.

Neveu agreed, claiming he regularly gets calls from venture capitalists and investors interested in finding a place to put their money to work.

“For what it’s worth, I think companies in Maine are able to capture the interest of venture capitalists,” he said. “I don’t think being in Maine is a hindrance.”