Written by Dan Lane, Global Business Manager
At the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), our goal is to ensure that there are plenty of good jobs for the people of Colorado. One way we accomplish this is by recruiting high performing companies to our state. Domestically, Americans have known for years that Colorado is a hotspot for investment. With the top ranked state economy in the US, an extremely talented workforce, a fast growing population fueled by an influx of millennials, and an overall business friendly environment, it’s easy to see why Colorado is so attractive to US companies. Internationally, word is getting out as well. We tend to see a lot of foreign companies setting up operations in Colorado when there are nonstop flights between our capital city of Denver and a given company’s home country. However, with regard to countries to which Colorado does not have a nonstop flight, we have been seeing some very interesting investments in alternative assets in Colorado. While OEDIT is focused on bringing primary employers to our state, seeing this type of alternative investment coming to Colorado is very exciting as it signals increased awareness of Colorado among investors abroad, and likely represents the tip of the iceberg of future foreign investment here. In this post, I want to highlight some recent examples of alternative investments made in Colorado by foreign investors.
There have been several notable investments by foreign investors in Colorado startups recently. A few high profile examples include the following:
Access to capital continues to be a challenge in Colorado. In a state where we have so many exciting startups and an ecosystem that encourages them, we love to see new sources of funding from abroad help them thrive. Obviously, the capital that is invested in these companies helps these startups hire new employees, which is directly in line with the goals of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. The companies mentioned above are just a small sampling of our local startups that happen to have received funding from international investors, but we hope that this list will continue to grow as foreign VCs take notice of the investment opportunities available in Colorado.
Recently, there have been some interesting acquisitions of Colorado companies by foreign investors. Of course, deals continue to happen all the time and OEDIT may not be aware of all of them, but below are a couple of recent transactions that are of note:
Real estate is an asset class that is familiar to, and popular with, investors from all over the world. OEDIT does not get involved with real estate deals, except when commercial real estate is part of a company’s site selection process. That said, we recognize that real estate investment is often the first exposure that foreign business people may have to Colorado. According to the Denver Post, “offshore investors pumped more than $980.5 million into the Denver market in 2015.” Here is a very brief list of some of the more notable recent real estate transactions in Colorado that involved foreign investors:
While this post is not meant to be a comprehensive accounting of the countless deals that occur in Colorado on an annual basis, my hope is that it will raise awareness of Colorado as an investment destination for foreign capital. Our local venture capital and private equity firms, which I didn’t mention in this article, may already be raising capital from abroad, which in turn could be invested in job-creating Colorado companies. The types of alternative asset investments I have described here may very well be the leading edge of a broader trend of corporate investment in Colorado from countries all over the world.