Editor’s note: These numbers may vary slightly, as some deals don’t count until weeks after VC’s quarterly reports are published.
While 2021 has been a swirl of ups and downs for most of us, a bright light shines on startups and tech companies here: It was the best year ever for Philly venture capital deals.
We knew this was going to happen, after third-quarter venture capital data showed us that even with the remaining quarter remaining, the region had already attracted more than $5 billion in investments. Now that Q4 data is in the latest version PitchBook-NVCA Project Monitor Report, we can confirm that.
More than $2.6 billion was invested in Philly-area businesses across 90 deals in just the fourth quarter of 2021, the largest quarter of the year — and the largest ever. Full-year data shows that the Philadelphia area saw investment of just under $8 billion across 395 deals.
The Philadelphia area, which includes Camden and Wilmington, has seen a steady rise in venture capital dollars since the dot-com era boom in 2000, but totals for the year have typically fallen about $1 billion in total through 2019, which was more than $2 billion. . But 2021 shows tremendous growth.
What companies got investments in Philly
Some of the best deals of the year went to Philly Technology and Life Sciences companies, and they are gobv $3.6 billion combined investment, Misfits Market’s totaling over $425 million, horn treatment $160 million Series C and dbt labs$150 Million Series C.
For the fourth quarter, the biggest deals included one of Gopuff’s more than $1 billion increases, which came in at $90 million Arrow treatments And packets across $76 million Series C.
(Warning: There is some misattribution in the report’s data, including that it counts two $170 million deals from a non-domestic company called Axel Club In Philly totals in the fourth quarter. We’re guessing it’s one of the cases of Delaware-in-inc-only.)
The regional trend is reflected here in what PitchBook saw nationally. In a report accompanying this quarter’s numbers, the company said that venture-backed companies raised $329.8 billion, nearly double the previous record high of $166.6 billion a year earlier, in 2020. The number of deals also increased significantly. In 2020, there were 12,173 deals in the US; In 2021, the number of deals made by the state reached 17,054.
Epidemiological investment trends
The pandemic continues to affect investors and those raising venture capital, the report said, but not in ways we might think.
“At the beginning of 2021, many investors expected that the world would have returned to its pre-pandemic ways before the end of the year, but the constantly evolving virus and worrying new variables prevented these expectations from being fulfilled,” the report said. “While some investors have resumed business trips to meet with founders, virtual meetings — an odd novelty for many just two years ago — have enabled investors to continue doing business and show up here to stay, regardless of the future course of the pandemic.”
National data also shows that the volume of tours is changing. In 2021, roughly the same amount of capital (about $13 billion) was invested in upstream deals as those in Series A and B, indicating a trend that early deals are gaining traction. Lots of companies received their first-ever investment in 2021. But on the flip side, there was also a significant amount of growth for the mega deals in the later stage, those worth over $100 million, as of 2020: $190 billion was invested in Mega deals across 820 deals, up from 335 mega deals in 2020.
Also, the fundraising numbers for companies with female founders increased significantly from 2020. More than 3,600 companies with at least one founder earned $54.8 billion in 2021, and 931 companies of all women founders earned $6.4 billion.
While it still represents a low percentage of total venture capital, the report showed that Philadelphia was in fact the fourth best place to raise capital as a woman. The women raised $770 million in Philadelphia between 2019 and 2021, behind Los Angeles, the Bay Area and New York, but ahead of Boston.