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Houston neck-and-neck with Austin in third quarter venture capital funding reports

Houston essentially matched Austin in venture capital funds received in the third quarter of 2018. Getty Images

It was a Texas showdown when it came to venture capital funding between Houston and Austin in the third quarter of 2018. According to Crunchbase data, Houston startups pulled in $138.8 million — 39.2 percent of the state's entire VC funding — while Austin startups reported receiving $150.6 million — 42.6 percent of the funds.

"It's something we've never even come close to before and, all of the sudden, boom, we're right there," Station Houston CEO Gabriella Rowe tells InnovationMap. "I think that's what we are going to continue to see in Houston."

"We're not going to see little wins now. We're going to start seeing big wins."

Before the startup scene can truly celebrate, it's worth noting that the entire state struggled in the third quarter. VCs contributed $353.7 million to Texas startups in 91 known deals, according to the report. That's less than half of what was reported in the second quarter, and, actually, it's less that what Austin alone received in Q2. However, the state is up year-over-year in VC funding by 11 percent, as the state only saw $319.6 million in Q3 of 2017.

Chart courtesy of Crunchbase

Crunchbase reported that the largest four funding rounds in Houston were as follows:

  • OncoResponse (immuno-oncology): $40 million in September
  • ViraCyte (biopharmaceuticals): $30 million in September
  • Enchanted Rock LLC (utilities): $23.6 million in July
  • DNAtriX (cancer treatment): $15.5 million in September
As a a part of its annual Inc. 5000 findings, the magazine named Houston the ninth hottest startup city in America. Photo by Tim Leviston/Getty Images

It's not just Texas' weather that's hot. Three Lone Star State cities made Inc. magazine's list of hot startups cities — and Houston came in at No. 9.

The list came out of the Inc. 5000 report — the magazine's list of the fastest-growing 5,000 privately-held companies in the United States. The list was ranked by the three-year revenue growth of each of the cities' companies.

Houston had a three-year revenue growth 117 percent with 84 Houston companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list.

"After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, the Houston area's construction industry grew tremendously to help rebuild and repair the storm's damage," the short ranking blurb reads, mentioning two Inc. 5000 companies in Houston: oil pipeline services company JP Services (No. 792) and contractor services firm CC&D (No. 1,973).

Houston beat out Dallas (No. 10) by just 4 percent three-year revenue growth and 10 Inc. 5000 companies. The article calls out Dallas for its "low regulations, zero corporate income taxes, and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, or DEC, which is a nonprofit organization serving as a hub for startup networking, funding, and mentorship."

Meanwhile, Austin, which ranked No. 2 on the list, had a three-year revenue growth 259 percent, and has 87 Inc. 5000 companies this year. Austin was praised for its "high rate of entrepreneurship and job creation" in the article, as well as for having outposts for top tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Here's the full list:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Austin
  3. New York City
  4. San Diego
  5. Atlanta
  6. Denver
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Chicago
  9. Houston
  10. Dallas

Earlier this month, Business Facilities magazine named Houston the fourth best startup ecosystem in the U.S., as well as the fourth best city for economic growth potential. Similarly, Commercial Cafe recently named Houston a top large city for early stage startups.

Susan Davenport, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Houston Partnership, previously told InnovationMap that it's the city's diversity that keeps the city growing and resilient.

"The region's steady population increases, coupled with our relatively low costs of living and doing business, bode well for our economic growth potential reflected in this ranking," Davenport says.