by the numbers

Report: Houston sees significant dip in VC activity in 2023

Despite its VC growth over the past few years, Houston startups saw a setback in funding in 2023. Photo via Getty Images

The amount of venture capital pumped into Houston-area companies shriveled in 2023, dropping to its lowest level since the pandemic year of 2020.

The latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor shows Houston-area businesses collected nearly $1.5 billion in venture capital in 2023, down from more than $2.2 billion in 2022 and over $2.6 billion in 2021. The amount of venture capital fell below $1 billion in both 2019 and 2020.

Houston-based Axiom Space accounted for the biggest chunk of the region’s VC haul in 2023 — a series C round worth $350 million. According to InnovationMap reporting, other local startups leading the way last year in VC were:

Here are Houston area’s full VC numbers for the past five years, according to the PitchBook-NVCA report:

  • 2023 — $1.478 billion
  • 2022 — $2.207 billion
  • 2021 — $2.625 billion
  • 2020 — $718.94 million
  • 2019 — $950.76 million

Across the country last year, $170.6 billion was invested in private companies, says the report — down $71.6 billion from 2022 and roughly half the sum invested in 2021.

In the report, Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of NVCA, notes that while the continued drop in U.S. venture capital activity “does not lend itself to optimism, it would be a mistake to declare the market in crisis. Rather, the market has changed. From interest rates to foreign conflict, the world looks very different than it did two years ago, and a new set of problems needs to be solved for.”

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