In the 1st quarter of 2014, the greater Washington region received $217 million in venture capital investment, which is down from $314 million in Q4 of 2013. VC investments went to 43 different companies in the region. That ranks 9th overall in terms of investment in different areas of the country, and it accounted for 2.3% of all venture capital investments in Q1.
By comparison, Silicon Valley attracted $4.7 billion in venture capital in Q1, which represents 49% of all VC investment in Q1. New England finished with $1.01 billion, or 11% of total investment. The NY metro area received $961 million.
Of the 43 companies that received funding in the region, five are headquartered in the District proper. Of the $217 million invested in the region, $21.9 million was invested in the District proper.
As mentioned above, five District based companies received $21.98 million in funding in Q1. The remainder went to Virginia and Maryland. The District based companies that received funding are:
Audax Health Solutions — The digital health company received $14.78 million from Acceleprise, Bowery Capital and New Enterprise Associates.
Track Maven — This software company operates a competitive intelligence platform for digital marketers. It received $6.15 million from Acceleprise, Bowery Capital and New Enterprise Associates.
Venga Inc. — Another software company that provides business intelligence and CRM solutions for restaurants. It received $1 million in early stage investment from BR Ventures and four anonymous investers.
Vii Network Inc — A developer of business software, it received $650,000 of sequence 4 funding to fuel its expansion.
Wiser Together — A provider of web and mobile treatment decision support solutions, the company received a investment of an unknown amount from 7Wire Venture.
Source: MoneyTree Report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.
Venture capital investment in the District is considerably stronger than it was ten, even five years ago, but is it as strong as it could be? Is the District capturing its fair share of venture capital in the region? It clearly lags behind both Virginia and Maryland in terms of number of investments and dollar value, so how does the District attract more venture capital flow?
One answer is convincing more of the firms that make capital allocation decisions to station people in the District proper. Being 3,000 miles from the premier source of venture capital funding makes it difficult to get the attention of a wider array of investors.
The District needs to continue to build towards a critical mass of invest-able companies by attracting entrepreneurs and startup talent, but it has to figure out how to bring the funders to the District.
The District uses economic incentives to foster real estate development on a regular basis. It also made it clear that it was willing to fight to retain DC-founded startups like Living Social by offering a broad range of incentives. We’d like to see an incentive program designed to attract venture capital firms to the city. Until Andreesen Horiwitz, Sequoia, Greylock and Kleiner Perkins have personnel on the ground in the District, District startups will always be playing catch-up.
We also have advocated for a world-class science and engineering campus modeled after the Cornell/Roosevelt Island project being built in partnership with New York City.