Nearly $161.5 billion of venture capital poured into U.S.-based companies last year, as the private markets and tech startup ecosystem had another banner year.
While the country as a whole saw new highs reached in venture, so did states such as Washington, North Carolina and Minnesota — not just in the amount of capital raised by private companies in those states, but also in terms of the percentage of total venture capital dollars in the country, Crunchbase data shows.
In fact, while the holy trinity of the startup world — California, Massachusetts and New York — still made up 73.1 percent of venture funding in the U.S. last year, 14 states saw at least $1.5 billion roll into companies headquartered there, according to Crunchbase numbers.
That number is up from 10 states in 2019, and only a half dozen just five years ago.
“I really think we are at a shake-the-snowglobe moment,” said Steve Case, founder of Washington, D.C.-based venture firm Revolution, which focuses on investing outside the major hubs of Silicon Valley, New York and Boston. “There are more investors looking at all areas now.”
The numbers — most agree — do not spell disaster for the coastal states that are used to dominating the venture capital market.
Instead, many sees the further distribution of venture dollars as a general maturation of the tech and startup ecosystem in several so-called “secondary markets” that are now spawning second- and third-generation companies — similar to what Boston and Silicon Valley have done for decades now — and entrepreneurs waking up to the idea that a successful company can be started anywhere as tech talent increases and reaches across the country.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see the Bay Area recreated,” said Mike Smerklo, co-founder and managing director at Next Coast Ventures in Austin. “There are only five or seven places like it in the world — like London or Hong Kong.”
In fact, both California and Massachusetts saw their total percentage of venture capital increase. The Golden State jumped from 48.8 percent of total funding in the U.S. in 2019 to 52.2 percent last year, however both are a drop from the 57.2 percent the state received in 2018. Massachusetts similarly jumped from 8.2 percent of U.S. venture investment in 2019 to 9.9 percent last year.