Look out Atlanta: South Florida tops Southeast for 2018 tech investment

The city of Miami was selected from among 250 cities.
The city of Miami was selected from among 250 cities.

The South Florida region scored more than $1 billion in technology investments last year, according to new data — the most of any metropolitan area in the southeastern U.S.

In a report released Tuesday by eMerge Americas, the Knight Foundation and Florida International University, tech firms in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties were shown to have recorded deals totaling approximately $1.4 billion.

By dollar volume, it was the 11th-most raised in the nation among metros, and most of any metro in the Southeast. Atlanta was next at $1.1 billion, followed by Durham, N.C., at $746 million; Raleigh, N.C., at $612 million; and Tampa, at $97 million.

By deal count, South Florida’s 2018 total of 128 was also highest among metros in the Southeast, and about even with last year’s 126.

The largest South Florida deal tallied in 2018 was $963 million, raised by Plantation-based augmented reality firm Magic Leap. To date, that company has raised more than $2 billion.

“We believe that Miami is on the cusp of something transformative — and we know the data and trends back it up,” said Felice Gorordo, CEO of eMerge Americas.

Among Miami-Dade firms, Little River-based financial technology firm YellowPepper raised the most with $12.5 million from Visa and others, followed by wine chilling company Plum, which raised $10 million led by South Florida-based Las Olas Venture Capital.

No one sector dominated. General software accounted for 43 percent of deal volumes; healthcare brought in 23 percent.

“It’s still too soon to see any broad industry leaders. South Florida is nothing if not diverse in its industries,” the report said.

Its author, former Miami Herald reporter Nancy Dahlberg, compiled the investment data using deal tracking group Pitchbook.