Telstra Ventures, a strategic growth investor in lighthouse technology leaders, today publishes “Tech’s Great Migration: Insights to Emerging Tech Hubs Across the U.S.,” to understand how the events of 2020 impacted startups and the Venture Capital landscape. Telstra Ventures gathered and crunched data from 27 regions, including the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and 25 emerging tech hubs looking at more than 35,000 companies across the regions that received VC funding.
“During the past 12 months, COVID required the VC community to think, act, and work differently. An emerging sentiment took hold that you don’t need to be in the Bay Area to build the next unicorn or decacorn,” said Mark Sherman, General Partner at Telstra Ventures. “Emerging tech hubs create jobs, create value for housing markets and create tax dollars for communities to invest in education.”
Telstra Ventures Tech’s Great Migration report answers the following questions:
- Which cities are attracting startups; is there movement away from the Bay Area and New York startup tech hubs?
- Which sectors saw the most significant increase in VC investments?
- Which cities or regions saw the most growth in VC investments?
- Which were the top sectors that attracted VC investments in these cities or regions?
Key findings include:
The Bay Area exodus is greatly exaggerated. In reality, not a lot of startups are leaving Silicon Valley.
- 96.9% of startups stayed in the Bay Area during 2020.
1.2% relocated from the Bay Area.
- 21% relocated to another city within California.
- 21% moved to New York.
- 12% to Texas.
- 6% to Colorado.
- 4% to Massachusetts.
- 4% to Washington State.
“We believe the Bay Area will continue to be the epicenter of tech for years to come,” said Mark Sherman, General Partner at Telstra Ventures. “Places like Silicon Valley exist because tech companies and VC firms can take advantage of the talent pool, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the culture of innovation that the emerging hubs can’t replicate today.”
Sherman added, “Telstra Ventures knows great companies can be built anywhere. Our investments are spread out all over the world, and across the U.S. in cities like Austin, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and San Diego.”
VC investments in the Bay Area grew 4% compared to 2019. VC investments also flowed to burgeoning hubs during the first year of COVID-19.*
- Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas (66%)
- Portland, Oregan (58%)
- Atlanta, Georgia (51%)
- Salt Lake City, Utah (38%)
- San Diego, California (34%)
*Based on the estimated VC investment growth versus the previous year.
“Emerging tech hubs create jobs, create value for housing markets and create tax dollars for communities to invest in their future,” said Sherman.
Disruptive ideas are finding room to move and grow in emerging startup hubs. Denver, Colorado, saw the most significant growth in the number of startups.*
- Denver, Colorado (21% growth on 2019)
- Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas (18%)
- Minneapolis, Minnesota (18%)
- Los Angeles, California (17%)
- Houston, Texas (16%)
*Filtered for cities that ended 2019 with at least 250 companies.
“The events of the past year have changed the way we work forever. The workforce is now more fluid, distributed, and empowered to be successful, regardless of location,” said Mark Sherman, General Partner at Telstra Ventures. “The talent pool is spreading across the country. It excites us to see the growth of new VC-backed companies across emerging markets like Denver, Dallas, and Minneapolis.”
The effects of COVID impacted the number of VC investments across multiple sectors. 2020 delivered significant growth in investments across Health Tech, Cloud, Network, and Security Tech and Ed Tech.
VCs increase deal flow in sectors impacted by COVID.
- Health Tech (24% increase in investments y-o-y.)
- Cloud, Network, Security (21%)
- EdTech (12%)
- FinTech (11%)
- SaaS & Enterprise (7%)
- Data & Machine Learning ((7%)
- Logistics & Industrial Tech (2%)
“2020 forced many families to balance life, family, and work commitments under one roof. This brought new challenges, and new challenges drive innovation,” said Sherman. “Childcare support, mental health, and financial planning assistance became a top priority resulting in a boon in the number of mental health and family benefits platforms available across the country.”
About Telstra Ventures
Telstra Ventures is a strategic growth investor in lighthouse technology leaders, backed by Telstra Corporation, one of the 20 largest telecommunications providers globally, and a number of leading global institutional investors. With offices in San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, and Shanghai, Telstra Ventures has invested in over 70 innovative businesses that bring disruptive technological solutions and radical thinking to customers.
Telstra Ventures is Australia’s largest Venture Capital Fund and through our Revenue Bearing Relationships (™) Platform has delivered $US300M in revenue to our portfolio and continues to offer entrepreneurs access to genuine revenue growth and shortens the time to reach global scale, which in turn can deliver improved financial returns to our investors.
Visit telstraventures.com to learn more.