On the GeekWire podcast this week, I was asked to recap the state of the Seattle startup community in 2016.
I paused for a quick second before responding that things are … plodding along.
That’s hardly a ringing endorsement, especially at a time when the larger tech economy in the Pacific Northwest — fueled in part by a booming Amazon, resurgent Microsoft and arrival of dozens of large tech giants — is firing on all cylinders.
I am not saying that startup activity has halted completely here.
Numbers from PwC’s MoneyTree Report show $617 million invested in Washington state companies through the third quarter, which is more than the total invested in 2011. Even so, investment totals are down 42 percent this year compared to last year.
The number of venture deals also has fallen, from 65 deals through the end of the third quarter of 2016, compared to 104 deals for the same period last year, according to MoneyTree.
Meanwhile, PitchBook has tracked venture capital investments in Washington state through Dec. 21st, and found that $1.5 billion has been invested in 298 deals. That’s down from last year’s totals.
Even so, there were some notable venture deals in 2016, spanning a wide variety of industries from consumer Internet (OfferUp) to biotechnology (Nohla Therapeutics) to enterprise storage (Qumulo) to asteroid mining (Planetary Resources).
Here’s a look at the list of the biggest VC deals in the Northwest, according to PitchBook.
Here’s a look at the venture capital investment and deal trends in Washington state over the past seven years.