Ben Shaw, CEO of Vets First Choice, started the company in 2010, and it has grown rapidly since then. Vets First Choice, which offers outsourced online pharmacy services to veterinarians, just closed on a $52 million round of financing, which will allow it to develop new markets and create 60 new jobs. The company employs 160 people now, about a third of whom work in its Portland offices. Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Ben Shaw, CEO of Vets First Choice (Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer)

Maine companies raised $67.8 million in venture capital during the third quarter, setting a single-quarter record in Maine since records began being kept in 1995.

The revelation was made in the most recent MoneyTree report, a quarterly tally of venture capital deals compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association from Thomson Reuters data.

The $67.8 million arrived in three deals, with one of them bringing the lion’s share and also setting a state record for the most venture capital raised by a company in a single investment round.

As I previously reported, Vets First Choice raised $52.3 million from 33 new and existing investors in a round that closed in July. The round was led by a new investor, New York-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and included existing investors such as HLM Management Co. LLC and Polaris Venture Partners. Vets First Choice, founded by CEO Ben Shaw in 2008, offers customized online pharmacy services that veterinarian practices can offer their customers. It employs about 160 people, about a third of whom work in its Portland headquarters.

CashStar Inc., a Portland-based pioneer in digital gift cards, closed the quarter’s other major deal, raising $15 million from investors such as Financial Technology Ventures, Intel Capital Corp., Mosaik Partners LLC, North Hill Ventures LP and Passport Capital LLC.

The third deal of the quarter is listed as a $500,000 investment in a digital marketing company called Local Yokel Media LLC. The MoneyTree report lists the company as based in Portland, though the company’s website says it’s based in Stamford, Connecticut. Attempts to reach CEO Dick O’Hare on Friday were unsuccessful.

Even if the Local Yokel deal was erroneously attributed to Maine, the third quarter would still beat the previous record, which was set in 2000, right as the dot-com bubble burst. During the third quarter of that year Maine companies raised $62.5 million in four deals, according to the MoneyTree report.

The year 2000 still holds the annual record for the most venture capital raised with a total of $140.2 million raised in 15 deals. In 2001, in the wake of the dot-com crash, only $3.9 million in venture capital flowed into Maine.

Maine companies have so far in 2015 raised nearly $85.8 million. The first quarter started strong, with nearly $17.8 million raised in six deals, followed by a weak second quarter, during which only $200,000 was raised in a single deal.

Barring another stellar quarter, Maine companies still have a ways to go before they break the annual record set in 2000.