Nov 1, 2023 - News

The Shift: NWA continues to draw investment

Venture capital invested in <span style="background:#3785aa;padding:2px 5px 1px;border-radius:5px;color:white;">NWA</span>, <span style="background:#f6a839;padding:2px 5px 1px;border-radius:5px;color:black;">Little Rock</span> and <span style="background:#e05766;padding:2px 5px 1px;border-radius:5px;color:white;">Tulsa</span> metro area companies
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Investors have seeded more than $120.6 million on 12 Northwest Arkansas companies since the beginning of the year.

What's happening: Private equity database company PitchBook shared the estimated numbers with Axios.

Why it matters: Capital investment gives startups and young companies resources to grow into more mature, profitable businesses faster.

The big picture: An increase in venture capital signals investor confidence in the area's entrepreneurial community — a measure of perceived economic health.

By the numbers: Observers will note PitchBook's data for Q2 is down roughly $40 million from what was reported at the time.

  • That $40 million — give or take a million — is now included in Q3 as an investment made to Cooks Venture, a direct-to-consumer meat producer in Decatur.
  • The company responded to an inquiry from Axios but didn't immediately provide clarification about the investment.

Meanwhile, Nuqleous of Bentonville, a retail-analytics software company, closed a $26 million investment in July.

Of note: NWA companies are still outperforming the Little Rock and Tulsa markets in terms of venture capital.

💭 Worth's thought bubble: As I've pointed out in the past, sometimes PitchBook's data are lagging a quarter — occasionally, deals are counted twice and corrected later, as in the case of Cooks Venture.

  • I wouldn't rely on the data to engineer the Burj Kahlifa skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, but it's directionally right.

📊 The Shift is a regular feature to catch up quick on what's happening in Arkansas' economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.


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