Financial Services

Venture Capital Funding in the Seattle Area Last Year Tops 2018 Mark

Fourth-quarter 2019 VC funding involving firms in the region nearly doubles 2018 level, new report shows

By Bill Conroy January 14, 2020

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Fourth-quarter 2019 VC funding involving firms in the region nearly doubles 2018 level, new report shows

A total of 385 venture capital deals involving Seattle-area companies brought in an aggregate $3.59 billion in funding to area companies in 2019, up from the same period last year, when some $3 billion was invested in companies in the region across 348 venture capital deals, according to a just-released study.

For the recently ended fourth quarter of 2019, Seattle ranked sixth among metro areas nationally in the amount of venture capital dollars its companies attracted ― $990 million, according to the most recent Venture Monitor report produced by Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association.

Metro areas ranking ahead of Seattle in VC deal volume for the fourth quarter were the following: New York City, $9.3 billion; San Francisco, $8.3 billion; Boston, $2.6 billion; San Jose, California, $2.4 billion; and Los Angeles, $1.6 billion. San Diego was close behind Seattle, with fourth-quarter mark of $904 million ― followed by greater Minneapolis at $785 million and Austin, Texas, at $738 million.

An aggregate $136.5 billion in venture capital was invested across 10,777 deals in 2019, surpassing the $130 billion-mark for the second consecutive year, the Venture Monitor report shows.

“Despite uncertainties about the sustainability of the unprecedented activity seen in 2018, this year kept pace and will undoubtedly leave its mark on the venture ecosystem,” says John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook. “In 2019, we saw the highest [deal] exit value ever tracked, record capital deployed to female-founded startups and the most late-stage deals ever closed, to name a few.”

The two biggest VC deals by Seattle-area companies during fourth-quarter 2019 were chalked up by digital freight broker Convoy, which raised $400 million in a Series D funding round; and Highspot Inc., a sales-enablement tech company that raised $75 million through a series D-1 funding round. This past June, Highspot also raised $60 million through a series D funding round to support the company’s global expansion and to extend its edge in sales-enablement technology.

Fourth-quarter 2019 aggregate VC funding for Seattle-area companies nearly doubles the $486 million mark for the same quarter the prior year, the Venture Monitor report shows. Statewide, Washington ranked fifth among the states in fourth-quarter VC deal volume, with slightly more than $1 billion ― the bulk of those deals involving Seattle-area companies. Ranking ahead of Washington were California, $13.5 billion; New York, $9.5 billion; Massachusetts, $2.7 billion; and Texas, $1.1 billion.

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