Feb 1, 2022 - Business

Arkansas breaks through $100 million in venture capital raised

Venture capital invested in <span style="background:#1085df;padding:2px 5px 1px;color:white;">NWA</span> and <span style="background:#ff7900;padding:2px 5px 1px;color:white;">Little Rock</span> metro area companies
Data: Pichbook and NVCA; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Arkansas companies raised record-setting $107.6 million in venture capital during 2021, up from $31.4 million raised in 2020.

  • The estimated numbers, shared with Axios, are from PitchBook, a private equity database company.

Why it matters: Private investment gives startups and young companies resources to grow more rapidly. An increase in venture capital signals investor confidence in the entrepreneurial community taking hold in the state.

Context: A disclaimer, of sorts. The numbers vary slightly from numbers provided by PitchBook and reported by Axios at the end of the third quarter.

  • "Like we often see between quarters, a few deals had changes to their deal date or deal value, and there were also new deals added to the [metropolitan statistical area]," a spokesperson told Axios.

While the value of investments quarter by quarter may not align, the overall values have moved in the same direction.

By the numbers: An estimated 83% of the statewide total was invested in Northwest Arkansas companies in 2021.

  • Companies in the Little Rock metro, which includes North Little Rock and Conway, received the rest.
  • There were 21 deals reported in NWA and eight in the Little Rock metro.

Zoom out: Venture capital deals in Austin, Texas — a competitor for talent, startups and venture capital — were valued at $4.8 billion last year.

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