According to the National Venture Capital Association, 2016 has seen $32.4 billion raised so far, putting this year on pace to be a record-breaking year for investment. And yes, when you think of venture capital, major markets like San Francisco, Boston, and New York dominate the game. But research firm PitchBook points out that DC, Austin, and Atlanta all rank in the top 12 venture capital ecosystems, based on factors like capital raised, VC invested, and VC activity. Last year, Entrepreneur ranked three Southern metros in the top 15 US cities where businesses received the most VC funding (DC with $857 million, Fort Lauderdale with $641 million, and Austin with $620 million), and much of this capital is homegrown. So whether you’re raising a round or looking to invest, make sure to check out these 12 venture capital firms right here in the South.
- Launched in 2009 by Hamilton Lane and the Florida State Board of Administration, Fort Lauderdale-based Florida Growth Fund manages $750 million of capital dedicated tech and growth-stage startups with a significant presence in the Sunshine State. As of June 2015, the Florida Growth Fund had invested $402.4 million in 30 technology and growth companies and 23 private equity funds, including $10.3 million in Altor BioScience and a $16 million round for CallMiner.
- Based in Atlanta, Noro-Moseley Partners targets investments in high-growth IT and healthcare startups. Initial commitments range from $2-$7 million. Their recent investments include a $7 million Series B for Nashville-based Contessa and a $6 million round for Denver-based Red Canary. Noro-Moseley also counts Charleston-based snagajob and Durham-based Appia (acquired in 2015) in their portfolio.
- Alerion Ventures is a Charleston-based venture capital firm which makes early stage investments in scalable startups. Their investments are focused primarily on startups throughout the Southeast, including Charleston-based Ceterus, Raleigh-based Reveal Mobile, and Durham-based Windsor Circle.
- IDEA Fund Partners is a seed and early stage VC firm with offices in Durham and Orlando. The firm invests mainly in the Southeast with a focus on companies developing software, medical devices or other technologies where intellectual property is an important asset. So far, they count 29 businesses in their portfolio, including Windsor Circle (an Inc. 500 company out of Durham) and Virginia-based Distil Networks, which has raised $21 million.
- Alexandria, Virginia-based QED Investors actively supports high-growth businesses that use information to compete. The firm ranked #22 on Entrepreneur’s list of 100 top early-stage investors, totaling $354 million in early stage deals in 2014. Their investments include Charlotte-based AvidXchange, an $11.5 million Series B for New York-based Fundera, and a $4 million Series A for Kansas-based blooom.
- XMi High Growth Development Fund is a Nashville-based venture capital firm that provides investment, mentorship, and expertise to companies throughout Tennessee. The firm is a TNInvestoCo program award winner and has made recent investments in Chattanooga-based AudiencePoint and $3.1 million for Nashville-based Dataium.
- Advantage Capital is a national venture capital firm headquartered in New Orleans. The firm has 13 offices across the US, with a presence in other Southern markets including Huntsville, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi. Since 1992, they have invested more $2 billion in over 660 companies across a diverse array of industry sectors. Recent deals include a $3.7 million round for NurtureMe and a round for Bypass, both startups out of Austin.
- New Capital Partners is a private equity firm headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama with a second office in Dallas. The firm invests in high growth companies primarily in the healthcare, IT, fintech, and business services industries. Notable investments include, Teladoc which was featured on on CNBC’s Mad Money and IPO’ed in 2015, and Inc. 5000 company Repay.
- You may know them for their co-working space and accelerator, but Austin-based Capital Factory also runs an active venture capital fund. The Capital Factory Fund, as it’s aptly named, makes equity investments in Austin-based companies exclusively. They counted 15 deals in 2015, and recent deals include investments in eRelevance, Student Loan Genius and Aceable.
- Houston-based Mercury Fund is a seed-stage venture capital firm that makes equity investments in software and science-based startups. The fund has over $200 million under management and some notable recent investments include Austin-based BlackLocus (acquired by HomeDepot), Palo Alto-based ShareThis, and San Franciso-based GameSalad.
- Rock Springs Capital is a Baltimore, MD-based venture capital firm that invests primarily in medical device, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology startups. The firm invested nearly $160 million in early-stage deals in 2014, backing now-public companies like Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics, California-based Coherus Biosciences, and Boulder-based N30 Pharmaceuticals, which went public in 2015 after raising $40 million.
- DC-based Revolution Ventures may sound familiar if you attended any of Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tours. The venture capital firm focuses on early-stage investments in technology-enabled startups that are attacking large, traditional industries with innovative new products and services. With $658 million under management, they’ve made notable investments in companies like a $9 million Series A for Baltimore-based OrderUp and over $9 million in seed and Series A for DC-based Framebridge.
We know there are many other Southern venture capital firms investing here at home and beyond our region. If there’s one you’re particularly hyped about, we’d love to hear from you! Comment below or give us a shout on Twitter…and while you’re at it, check out this great Entrepreneur list of 10 Reasons To Consider the Southeast for a Startup or Investment Location.