North Carolina’s Startups Near 2015 Highs, Raising $1.1 Billion In 2017
Entrepreneurial activity, specifically fundraising in startups across the country slipped a bit in 2016. That was the case for North Carolina who saw $1.2 billion in state wide venture activity in 2015 and only $806 million in venture activity in 2016. Not too shabby either way but still a substantial deficit from the previous year.
The Durham NC based Council for Entrepreneurial Development reported that in 2017 statewide venture activity was up 36.5% from that $806 million in 2016 to $1.1 billion in 2017.
The research triangle, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, have been a hotspot of entrepreneurial activity for decades. Life sciences and then technology have been the dominant driver in that corridor. Down 85 in Charlotte there’s also a lot of entrepreneurial activity with a focus in both technology and social initiatives (socially conscious not social media).
In 2017, tech beat out life sciences, taking in the lion’s share of that $1.1 billion dollars. How much exactly? That same report revealed that investors poured in $780 million dollars to up and coming tech companies across the state whereas life sciences only saw $270 million. The technology piece was the most interesting takeaway in the report, that according to Lister Delgado, Managing Partner at IDEA Fund Partners, the Herald Sun reported.
“As always, venture activity reports need to be viewed with a grain of salt,” Delgado said. “A few large deals tend to skew the numbers one way or the other, so we should not assume trends emerging from the data. However, I see a couple of interesting things here: one, the strength of tech deals compared to life science deals, and two, the number of large deals in Charlotte.”
To that end, two Charlotte deals were responsible for 40% of the total funding. AvidXchange received $300 million in funding and SmartSky Networks received #176 million. The research triangle was first in the amount of deal flow. Durham startups participated in 62 to deals and Raleigh came in with 49.
2017 was also a record year for total deal flow with 224 equity investment deals closing during the year. That’s the highest volume of deals in the state since the CED started reporting on venture activity in 2013.
More here at the HeraldSun.com