More venture investments flowed into Washington state companies in the fourth quarter, while startups nationwide experienced a decline in funding.
Washington state companies saw a big bump in funding during the last part of 2016, bucking slowing trends in other major cities across the U.S., according to two industry reports being released Wednesday.
State companies showed 81 deals raised $541.3 million, a nearly 170 percent increase from the year-earlier period, according to the Pitchbook/National Venture Capital Association Venture Monitor report.
The other report, from PricewaterhouseCoopers/CB Insights MoneyTree, showed 34 deals brought in $321.8 million, a 90 percent increase.
Figures in the two reports vary because they use different methodologies.
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At least three of the local deals during the quarter were worth more than $40 million, marking large funding rounds for area companies.
“VCs are putting pretty big bets on Washington state companies,” said Stephen Sommerville, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Seattle.
Nationally, companies did not fare as well. U.S. businesses raised $11.7 billion during the fourth quarter, a 17 percent decrease from the year before, according to the PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree Report.
Venture Monitor reported companies raised $12.7 billion nationally during the quarter, a 24 percent decrease from the same period in 2015.
For the year, venture-capital funding flowing to U.S. startups decreased significantly. Nationally, companies raised $58.6 billion in 4,520 deals throughout the year, a 20 percent decrease in amount raised over 2015, according to the MoneyTree report.
State companies saw a similar dip, raising $1.1 billion in 2016, MoneyTree reports, a 36 percent drop from 2015.
The Venture Monitor report found Washington companies brought in $1.56 billion last year, a 26 percent dip from the year before.
The declining amounts for the year were expected. Nontraditional investors had been pouring money into tech startups at the end of 2014 and into 2015, and they and others pulled back over concern that some startups were being overvalued.
“It declined to a more normalized level this year,” said Nizar Tarhuni, an analyst at Seattle-based Pitchbook.
In addition, venture capitalists are raising their funds at an accelerated rate, meaning things likely won’t continue dropping.
“Activity will flatten out in 2017, but I don’t think we’ll continue to see a decline,” Tarhuni said.
It might even be the opposite for state companies. Three companies went public in 2016, a huge jump from a disappointing 2015.That could encourage investors to pay more attention to the state’s businesses.
And nearly 50 percent of the funding rounds in the fourth quarter went to early-stage companies, painting a hopeful picture, Sommerville said.
“That’s been a fairly consistent trend for the whole year, which I think provides some encouragement for the future,” he said.
OfferUp inked the largest round during the fourth quarter, according to Venture Monitor, pulling in $130 million. MoneyTree included that round in a different quarter.
Both reports note a $43.5 million round to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center spinoff Nohla Therapeutics, which develops cancer treatments using umbilical-cord blood.
Dog-sitting marketplace Rover also hit the $40 million mark in October.