Apr 18, 2022 - Business

Austin sees strong quarter for VC deals amid signs of a slowdown

Venture capital invested in the Austin metro area
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

It's still a good time to be an entrepreneur in Austin, despite signs of a venture capital slowdown nationwide.

The big picture: The metro area's first quarter of 2022 delivered 99 deals valued at more than $1.5 billion, new data from PitchBook shows.

  • The figure is roughly in line with last year's, when 90-119 deals occurred for each quarter of 2021.
  • Austin's deal count remains above that of Denver, Atlanta and Miami.
  • Still, VC funding on both coasts still makes up a bulk of all deals.

Flashback: 2021 delivered a big year for venture capital funding in Austin, with 387 deals valued at a record-setting $4.9 billion — or 211% growth compared to the previous year.

  • The latest quarterly numbers put Austin's VC industry on pace to reach that figure again.

Between the lines: There's a lot of new, local money plunging into the startup world.

What they're saying: "Two years ago maybe 20 venture capital firms considered Austin their headquarters," CS Freeland, executive director and co-founder of Austin Venture Association, said. "Now ... we're seeing that number is closer to 70— meaning the actual majority of venture capitalists here are new."

Zoom out: Nationwide, VC investment activity and VC-backed IPOs did not maintain their pace in Q1 after a record-setting 2021, a PitchBook analysis found.

  • Only 28 VC-backed companies were publicly listed in Q1, the lowest quarterly count since Q1 2020.
  • Bitcoin mining company Core Scientific Inc., which moved its headquarters from Seattle to Austin last year, was the only metro area exit in Q1 2022, per PitchBook.

E-commerce firm Cart.com's $240 million fundraising round topped the Austin-Round Rock metro's Q1 deals, Pitchbook found.

The other biggest Q1 deals:

  • Wheel Health: $150 million.
  • SparkCognition: $123 million.
  • Triumvira Immunologics: $100 million.
  • Atmosphere: $100 million.
  • Colossal: $75 million.
  • Firefly Aerospace: $75 million.
  • Tecovas: $56 million.
  • Tomo: $40 million.
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