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March 23, 2015
Biz Money

Gelato Fiasco, CashStar attract new investment

Gelato and sorbetto company Gelato Fiasco Inc. of Brunswick has sold $782,660 of an indefinite debt offering, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The first date of sale was Jan. 28. Listed on the filing are co-founders Joshua Davis (CEO) and Bruno Tropeano (president), as well as directors Nathaniel Henshaw, Richard McGoldrick and John Moore.

Digital gifting company CashStar Inc. of Portland has sold almost $9.53 million of a $33.5 million equity and option fundraise, according to an SEC document. CashStar was among 14 Maine companies making Inc. magazine's fastest-growing private companies list in 2014, coming in at No. 600 with $15.8 million in revenue in 2013, up 792% since 2010. Listed on the filing are Ben Kaplan (president and CEO), Michael Ellis (CFO), Steven Boal (founder, chairman and board member), and other board members John Burbank III, Alex Rampbell and Chris Winship. The first date of sale was Feb. 26.

Susan MacKay, president of Cerahelix Inc. of Orono, on March 12 filed to raise $500,000 in debt or other promissory note. The company uses DNA to make a nano-ceramic coating to provide faster filtration at high purity. The offering has not yet started selling. MacKay was a Mainebiz 2010 Woman to Watch at her earlier biotech company, Zeomatrix.

Additionally, the Bridgton Highlands Country Club LLC in Bridgton on Feb. 14 began selling a $750,000 equity offering. So far, $285,806 has been sold, according to its SEC filing.

In a separate development, Playrific Inc. of Billerica, Mass., raised $290,000 of a $500,000 debt filing with the SEC last Dec. 12, with the first date of sale last Oct. 24. Founded in 2010, Playrific has raised a total of $4.7 million in angel capital in three rounds. The most recent was a $3 million round at the end of 2014, with investors including members of Maine Angels, Golden Seeds, Northeast Angels, Walnut Venture Associates and Launchpad Venture Group. Maine Angels also participated in the $1.7 million round in December 2012 and other rounds. The Maine Angels investors were not identified.

Last October, a couple of Maine Angels expected to see the first return on investment after another Massachusetts-based company in the Maine Angels portfolio, Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. of Norwood, Mass., went public. Corbus was formerly known as JB Therapeutics and still appears by that name on the Maine Angels website. One of the Maine Angels investors is John Goodrich. The second has declined to be identified. On March 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Corbus the go-ahead for a Phase 2 clinical trial of its experimental drug for scleroderma, a chronic and life-threatening inflammatory disease causing excess tissue growth on skin, joints and internal organs.

About half of the current 34 portfolio companies listed on the Maine Angels website are located in Massachusetts with total investments, including multiple rounds for some companies, of almost $4.38 million. The 15 Maine companies listed received almost $4.13 million, with Pika Energy of Gorham leading the pack with $751,000. The other money went to a handful of companies in New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

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