Recent investments in St. Louis metro area startups have reached their highest levels in over a decade. Much of this investment supported information technology, financial service, and bioscience firms.
Between 2013 and 2016, companies in the St. Louis metro area raised over $1.3 billion in venture capital, representing a nearly 76 percent increase from the four years prior. Startup companies raised these funds over almost 400 separate investments, with 2015 setting a record of 133 investments in 117 individual companies. The total value of those investments remained high at $373 million in 2016, although the number of investments decreased to 78.
There has been a recent national trend towards fewer, more high value, investments over time. According to a 2016 article published by PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Total venture dollars deployed to startup companies for the quarter increased 20 percent and total deal count was down 5 percent, compared with the first quarter…”. (1) This national trend generally aligns with the St. Louis experience.
The St. Louis Regional Chamber has recently founded Spirit of St. Louis Ventures to help ensure that there is a full range of area funding. Spirit of St. Louis Ventures is an impact-investment enterprise that invests in venture funds, loan funds, and enterprises that align with our organization’s strategic plan. The fund’s investment portfolio includes:
The Chamber also supports InvestMidwest, an annual venture capital conference that has raised over $1 billion for Midwestern companies over the last 17 years. (2)
St. Louis is home to 20 active funds that invest in startups both inside and outside of the region. Combined with investments from national venture capital funds, local startups have many opportunities to secure capital from a variety of investors. Area venture capital, angel investors, public funds, and entrepreneurial competitions make the St. Louis metro area an ideal location for a startup company to launch and to expand.
Sources:(1) “$15.3 Billion in Venture Capital Deployed to Startup Ecosystem in Second Quarter” PricewaterhouseCoopers, July 15, 2016.
(2) “InvestMidwest” InvestMidwest, 2017.