Venture capital

DC lands $1.7B in Q2 venture capital, double the previous quarter’s raise

An overwhelming amount of the money invested in the DMV this spring went to one company: e-cigarette juggernaut JUUL.

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC on Jan. 29, 2024. (Robb Hill for
As venture capital coalesces around the national capital, the surrounding region recently saw a big leap in how much these investors have put into companies with local ties.

Companies in DC and its suburbs collected $1.7 billion in investment across 67 deals during 2024’s second quarter, according to the latest quarterly Venture Monitor report that PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released on Thursday. This is twice the amount that was invested in the prior quarter, as well as the greatest sum of funds since the first quarter of 2022, which saw a nearly $2.1 billion investment.

JUUL brought in an overwhelming portion of last quarter’s investment  — about $1.3 billion. The electronic cigarette company, which relocated to DC in 2020 but still has a massive West Coast presence, raised almost as much in a mega deal that topped PitchBook’s regional figures for Q4 2023.

These latest tallies represent an uptick in investment compared to the first quarter’s quieter start to the year, which brought in $858 million. There were 67 deals reported in the second quarter, just three more than the preceding one.

Venture capital flow in the region isn’t “sluggish,” but more cautious as of late, according to DC Tech & Venture Coalition founding member Ashtan Moore.

“Investors are seeking initial validation and traction; they’re seeking founders who have put in as much work as they possibly can before asking for a dollar,” Moore said. “The founders who recognize this and put the work in will find the strategic capital they’re seeking.”

Compared to other years, the deal counts in the first and second quarters of 2024 are quite low. The last time the region saw roughly the same amount of deals was in the last quarter of 2020, which had 66 raises by different companies. In the last quarter of 2023, there were 81 deals in the area.

The United States’ total capital raise last quarter was valued at $55.6 billion across an estimated 4,226 deals, with JUUL’s being the nation’s third largest. This surpasses the $37.8 billion across 4,021 deals reported in the first quarter of 2024.

At the moment, investors are focusing on companies with proven success, NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin wrote in the report’s introduction. The climate is much different than the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which boasted tremendous investment and valuation across the country. But he’s still optimistic about the future.

“VC is still navigating choppy seas, but steady hands are finding a way forward,” Franklin wrote.

Below are the DC region’s highest deals. As always, it’s important to note: These figures may vary slightly after publication: Some deals aren’t accounted for until weeks after quarterly VC reports are published, and PitchBook may find errors in its data.

DC’s biggest deals in Q2 2024

The top deals in the region during this quarter were in the information technology, healthcare and consumer products industries.

  1. JUUL, which moved its headquarters from San Francisco to DC in 2020, reported a later-stage deal of $1.3 billion that closed on May 23.
  2. The software engineering firm Raft, based in Tysons Corner, raised a later-stage investment of $60 million that PitchBook said closed on April 10.
  3. ShiftMed, a healthcare workforce management platform based in McLean, logged a later-stage raise of $47 million with the same closing date as JUUL’s.
  4. The Arlington-based “privacy first” mobile carrier Cape raised a $40 million Series B. On April 18, the day PitchBook reported as the round’s closing date, the company announced that it raised $61 million in various rounds.
  5. The cloud security platform Permiso raised a $29.1 Series A in early May. An SEC filing lists the company’s base in McLean, while the firm’s LinkedIn page says it’s based in Palo Alto.

How DC fits in with national trends

For the rest of the US, trends still point toward a slowdown, said Kyle Standford, one of Pitchbook’s lead VC analysts.

Also, most investments are made by large firms. For example, the Silicon Valley VC giant Andreessen Horowitz (which is establishing office space in DC) contributed $7 billion out of the $37.4 billion reported in 2024’s first half.

Alex Shtarkman, a vice president at the firm Revolution Ventures, also noted that VCs are looking for capital-efficient, high-growth companies. He also noted the ongoing excitement around AI ventures.

“With limited time and capital, funds are on the hunt for companies with bulletproof fundamentals or those with exponential growth potential,” he said. “If you don’t check one of these two boxes, the VC world looks fundamentally different for you.”

Companies: PitchBook / National Venture Capital Association

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