Report: NC’s entrepreneurial firms set record for funding in 2020 – $3.4B

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by WRAL TechWire 

Entrepreneurial companies across North Carolina raised a record $3.4 billion in venture capital funding last year despit the pandemic, setting a record for the state’s startup economy. So says the annual Innovators Report from the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.

The number is higher than that compiled by another established venture source: According to the data from Crunchbase, North Carolina firms brought in $4.1 billion last year.

The funding is skewed, however, by a $1.5 billion fundraiser for Cary-based Epic Games. (The CED says Epic raised $1.8 billion.) And Charlotte-based AvidXchange raised a combined $572 million.

Still, Hunter Young, head of Capital at the CED, points out:

“Only 5 years ago $1 billion in equity investment across the state was considered a major accomplishment. However, today even if you normalize and remove the major billion-dollar fundraisers from Epic Games, the baseline level of investment across North Carolina is now
approximately $1.5 billion, proving the dynamic and growing entrepreneurial atmosphere that currently exists.”

The new record is 25% higher than the previous total set in 2018 – again boosted by Epic – and 130% higher than 2019, according to the report.

A total of 187 companies raised the funds spread accross 223 deals.

Average deal size came in at $15 million. The median deal was around $2 million, the CED said.

The state also drew a lot of interest from investors across the country.

“North Carolina had the most institutional investors participate in rounds in recent record as over 200 funders supported NC companies, including over 40 from California and 27 from New York,” the CED said,

“The ability of our entrepreneurs to access capital is strong. A proof point is not just the number of deals and size of the rounds, but that 40 California-based funds invested in North Carolina Companies. We can certainly use additional very early-stage risk capital to support these
companies in the beginning, but those that can scale can find the funding they need from investors not based here,” said Jay Bigelow, head of Entrepreneurship at CED.

Technology firms landed 80% of investment dollars vs. an even split with life science firms in 2019, the report noted.

Read the 2020 Innovators Report online:

Original Source: WRAL TechWire