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The U.S. metro area with the biggest VC returns isn't Silicon Valley

A view of Chicago's skyline at sunset from the 94th floor of the John Hancock Observatory. Photo: Getty

While startups around Silicon Valley get the most venture capital funding, the biggest returns for investors come from companies in the Chicago metropolitan area — with an 8.5x return during 2010-2017, per Pitchbook. The Bay Area netted returns between 4.2x and 4.6x during that same period.

Why it matters: This is a win for proponents of spreading venture investing outside of Silicon Valley.

The cities with the most VC investment:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward: $144.3 billion
  2. New York-Newark-Jersey City: $54.5 billion
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara: $52.8 billion
  4. Boston-Cambridge-Newton: $45 billion
  5. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim: $29.3 billion

The cities with the biggest VC returns:

  1. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin: 8.5x
  2. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue: 5.9x
  3. New York-Newark-Jersey City: 4.8x
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim: 4.7x
  5. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington: 4.7x

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