Austin’s venture capital activity is off to a booming start in 2019.
After experiencing one of its strongest fundraising years in 2018, the metro area’s investment has already totaled about $530 million in the first six weeks this year. That amount surpasses all but one three-month period since the dot-com boom of 2000, according to an analysis by the American-Statesman.
Venture capital investment in young companies is important to the Central Texas economy because it allows them to hire more workers, invest in new equipment and ramp up product development and marketing.
While the pace is likely to slow as the year wears on, industry experts say the current funding boom signals that Austin-area companies are taking advantage of a growth trend in the country’s overall VC market. Nationally, VC investment in 2018 was up 30 percent year over year and 58 percent over the annual average for 2013-2017, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which tracks VC deals in the United States.
Early investors in Austin companies sowed “a lot of seeds into interesting companies, which are now growing and getting that traction where they can raise meaningful transactions,” said Krishna Srinivasan, a partner at Austin-based LiveOak Venture Partners. “Austin has been a tremendous talent magnet for high-quality talent from all over the country.” In January, Live Oak saw one of its portfolio companies, legal tech firm Disco, land an $83 million investment round led by Toronto-based Georgian Partner.
SOURCE: Sebastian Herrera