Business / Funding / Resources / Venture capital

2021 will be Philadelphia’s best year for VC deals ever, with $3B already invested

The region saw $1.2 billion in Q2 venture capital, per the latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report. It's a sign of a bolstered economy amid the waning pandemic.

An aerial look of Philadelphia. (Photo by Philly by Drone)

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

Following a wildly good first quarter for venture capital deals in 2021, the region continues to hold strong with nearly $1.2 billion in venture capital brought to area companies in Q2.

Largely thanks to Gopuff’s $1.15 billion investment in March, the first quarter brought $1.895 billion (up from the originally reported $1.647 billion) in venture capital across 92 deals. It sticks out as the region’s best quarterly investment period in at least the last 25 years. The second quarter brought $1.181 billion across 79 deals, the latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report shows.

Philadelphia continues to see a mostly upward trajectory in deals, since a banner year of more than $2 billion in deals in 2019. In 2020, the region saw $1.47 billion in venture capital, despite the pandemic halting deals for a short time.

The region is already on track to beat both years, and see the greatest number of dollars of all time with a total of more than $3 billion already invested in the first half of the year. Deal counts are also up this year, with $516 million across 32 deals in April, $421 million across 24 deals in May and $243 million across 23 deals in June of this year.

Some notable local raises include Sporttrade’s $36 million raise, Piano’s $88 million Series C, Misfits Markets’ $200 million Series B and Phenom’s $100 million Series D.

And the Venture Monitor report doesn’t even include the late-June dbt Labs’ $150 million Series C or Tendo’s $50 million Series B — meaning the final count for this quarter will jump by at least $200 million.

Across mid-Atlantic companies, there were nearly $15 billion invested into 752 deals this quarter. Nationally, the number of unicorns — companies that have raised at least $1 billion — are up almost 500% from last year, with 136 companies hitting unicorn status in Q2 of 2021. Top industries landing venture capital are software and commercial services, and the most common range for early-stage deal size fell between $10 million and $25 million.

Global funding is also up significantly overall, the report found. At this time last year, companies globally had raised $60.7 billion in Q2, but this year, deals hit $156.2 billion globally.

In general, the waning pandemic is driving the overall boost in VC funding we’re seeing this year, according to National Venture Capital Association Research Director Michael Chow.

“The post-COVID world is very different from the one we knew prior to March 2020, and I think a lot of innovators and entrepreneurs are focusing on the abundant opportunities to develop technologies and build companies that address the needs of a reopening economy that is structurally different due to the imprint COVID-19 has made,” Chow told in an email. “Investors know this and are investing in startups that will meet the needs of our new normal.”

Companies: Tendo / Misfits Market / Piano / Gopuff / dbt Labs / Phenom

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