Q3 VC data is in: Philly is having its best investment year ever — to the tune of $5B

Still with one quarter of the year left, startups in the Greater Philadelphia region have pulled in more venture capital than in any previous year — by a lot.


(Video by YouTube user Imagine Hafakot, used under a Creative Commons license)

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.

At the halfway point of 2021, data was showing Philadelphia was already having its best year ever with more than $3 billion already invested into regional companies. With the Q3 data rolling in now, it’s safe to say that trend continues — by a whole lot.

The latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report shows that the Philadelphia region again saw more than $1 billion in deals, like the previous two quarters this year, with $1.804 billion invested over 86 deals in July, August and September.

Any early worry that the pandemic would hurt VC spending is officially dead.

The Philadelphia region, which includes Camden and Wilmington, has been on a steady incline in VC dollars since a dot-com era boom in 2000, but totals for the year usually landed around $1 billion in spending total until 2019, which hit more than $2 billion.

But this year, more than $1 billion has been invested in every quarter, including $1.433 billion across 95 deals in Q2 (updated from NVCA’s original figures reporting $1.181 billion across 79 deals) and $1.880 billion across 92 deals in Q1. It means that, still with one quarter of the year left, the region has pulled more than $5 billion in investments so far.

Some notable local raises for the year include Gopuff’s massive $1.15 billion raise in March and additional $1 billion raise in July, Misfits Market’s $225 million Series C and $200 million Series B, Sporttrade’s $36 million raise, Piano’s $88 million Series C, Phenom’s $100 million Series D, dbt Labs’ $150 million Series C and Tendo’s $50 million Series B.


Beyond Gopuff and Misfits Market, in Q3, Philly also saw notable raises for ecommerce startup Mainfactor valued at $69 million, and MOBILion Systems’ $60 million Series C.

Along with VC spending going up, the Pitchbook data shows that more deals happened so far in 2021 than in previous years, hitting 273 so far. That’s already surpassing or nearly surpassing the total number of deals in all of 2020 and 2019.

It’s worth noting that both total VC dollars and number of deals can change, as we learn of more fundraising. Example: Gopuff’s first massive raise happened in August of 2019, but the company didn’t confirm it until January 2020.

VC investment is up nationally, too. Overall, deal activity saw $82.8 billion of investment spread across 3,518 deals in the third quarter, which bring the 2021 total so far to $238.7 billion across 12,837 deals in a new record over last year’s numbers. Those numbers once again show that while job reports are lagging, interest in investments is bigger than ever, demonstrating a continued faith in the full rebound of the economy after the pandemic.

“There is no denying that the startup ecosystem is powering America’s economic comeback,” said NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin in a press release on the new data. “Lawmakers in Washington who are looking for ways to enhance our economic future should check out these record shattering numbers. The VC industry is this country’s biggest job engine, and we have the numbers to back it up.”

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