May 1, 2024 - News

The Shift: NWA venture capital investment down, not out

Venture capital invested in the <span style="color:#421ab3;">Northwest Arkansas</span>,  <span style="color:#c3810b;">Tulsa</span> and <span style="color:#0b6abf;">Little Rock</span> metro areas
Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Northwest Arkansas companies closed on more than $90 million in investments last year, according to PitchBook data shared with Worth.

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

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

The big picture: The number was less than half of 2022's record $200 million, but still far larger than investments back to 2014, according to PitchBook.

By the numbers: PitchBook reported 16 deals in the NWA metro area during 2023.

  • Only one deal was reported for the first quarter of 2024, valued at $13.5 million.
  • PitchBook data says that capital went to Fayetteville's OurPharma.

It's not clear if the deal was closed in the first quarter or earlier; the company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Its CEO, Adam Kohler, told Worth last year that a $10 million investment reported by PitchBook wasn't closed in the first quarter, but that a filing may have triggered the research company to include it.

💭 Worth's thought bubble: We've pointed out before that PitchBook's data can lag a quarter — and occasionally, deals are counted twice and corrected later.

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

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