Business / Investing / Resources / Startups

In a historic year for VC investment, Baltimore shattered recent records to raise $768M

Both the region and state saw major VC activity this year, according to the 2021 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. By the third quarter, 2021 had already soared past 2020's record. Q4 was just icing on the cake.

Inside Dragos' offices. (Courtesy photo)
Correction: Blocksynop did not raised $2 million in Q4 2021, as previously noted in the PitchBook data. (1/18/21, 11:10 a.m.)

Editor’s note: These figures may vary slightly, as some deals aren’t accounted for until weeks after quarterly VC reports are published.

The Baltimore metro area had a very, very good year for venture capital investments, raising a whopping $768.4 million across 78 deals.

The region blew past 2020’s totals of $509.5 million and 74 deals, and 2019’s comparatively paltry $279.3 million over 77 deals, per the latest PitchBook-National Venture Capital Association Venture Monitor. Locally, it’s at least the best year for VC since 2014, if not ever.

The year’s national funding totals, too, had already blown through 2020’s record as of Q3. But with data from the report, which is prepared in association with Silicon Valley Bank and Affinity, we have dollar totals.

It’s been a historic year in VC activity in general. DC companies raised $5 billion, and a whopping $8 billion went to Philly companies, for instance. Nationally, 2021 saw an almost doubling of the previous year’s volume with a total of $329.8 billion raised.

“By all metrics, 2021 was a banner year for the U.S. VC ecosystem,” said John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook, in a statement. “A fair portion of the new investment records can be attributed to the record levels of capital washing through the system. VC dry powder at an all-time high and a rapidly growing number of crossover investors are participating in, or even leading, VC deals. With VC returns outpacing every other private capital asset class, we expect LPs to continue to allocate capital toward venture at unprecedented rates in the coming year.”

Which companies got deals in the Baltimore metro area?

For the Baltimore metro area, $221.3 million flowed to 14 companies in the fourth quarter of 2021. This continues the seesaw trend of funding in the region with $293.5 million in Q1, $183.3 million in Q2, and $70.3 million in Q3.

The largest deal over the last quarter was Dragos‘ $200 million Series D — without which Q4 would have seen a much smaller total, as the next-highest raise was $7 million for Vheda Health. Others included a $2 million late-stage Series A for Novel Microdevices and a $2 million seed round for Trustate. Rasio Therapeutics and Ravgen also raised $2 million this quarter.

In Maryland, notable deals included $228 million Series A raise for Robotic Research, a $21 Series A1 for VLP Therapeutics, and a $20 million Series A for Germantown biotech firm Deka Biosciences and a $10.5 million seed round by Gaithersburg biotech firm Valted Seq.

There were no major exits this quarter.

National money moves

Nationally, $88.2 billion was invested across 4,591 deals in the fourth quarter, bringing the annual total to $329.9 billion invested across an estimated 17,054 deals in the United States. Investors raised $128.3 billion passing the $100 billion mark for the first time in the U.S.

National Venture Capital Association CEO and President Bobby Franklin noted the significance of the totals for the US economy.

“The best news about these record achievements is that we are creating more American made entrepreneurs than ever before,” Franklin said. “Entrepreneurs are our nation’s job creators who plant the seeds for the new high growth companies of tomorrow.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Dragos / National Venture Capital Association

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