Moderate start for venture capital investment in Miami area

During the first quarter of 2017, investors deployed $151.05 million to 29 startups in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area, according to the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor. That ranks the Miami region No. 7 in the nation among 139 metro areas.

The Miami area pulled in nearly two-thirds of the state’s total, according to the report. Investors poured $244.19 million in to 63 deals, ranking the state No. 7. Miramar-based biopharmaceutical company Altor Bioscience’s $30.3 million was the top deal in the Miami metro area and in the state.

Still, it’s a tiny piece of the pie. During the first quarter of 2017, investors deployed $16.5 billion to 1,797 venture-backed startups, marking a slight uptick in capital invested over the fourth quarter of 2016, but the fewest companies to receive investment since the fourth quarter of 2011, the report found. This decline indicates that the deceleration that started in the back half of 2016 continues in 2017 as the venture industry returns to a steadier pace of investment, the report said.

“After several consecutive years of elevated U.S. venture activity, it seems the industry is finally coming back down to earth,” said John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook. “It’s easy to look at the numbers and assume the industry is starting to lose its footing, but we don’t think that’s the case. We see this as investors and entrepreneurs returning to a more disciplined approach to investing. Both parties are having to exercise more caution in the market and conduct the necessary due diligence to pencil out fair deals on both sides.”

What hasn’t changed: California is still king. In California, 560 companies received $8.3 billion in venture investment, representing half of the total capital deployed and 31 percent of companies receiving investment for the quarter. Or put another way: Of all companies in the U.S. receiving investment, 69 percent were outside of California, drawing 50 percent of total capital invested.

Rounding out the top five deals in Florida during the first quarter were fintech company Nymbus’ $23.88 million; education-tech company Nearpod’s $21 million; sensor maker Sonavation’s $20.4 million and meal service app MealPal’s $15 million.

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