Top Cities For Venture Capital In The US and Internationally?

Bit curious as to what you all view as the top VC markets in the US/Internationally currently? In the US, I'd assume that the San Francisco Bay Area is the top but what other major cities do you see as hotbeds for lots of activity right now? Also looking on towards the future, what are some up and coming areas and do you see any areas in decline anytime soon? Same questions apply for international markets.

EDIT: Someone brought up a great point about the quality of startups in a lot of these major cities. Where do you see startups actually being successful and undergoing meaningful exits?

Comments (48)

 
Jul 17, 2017 - 3:23pm

Any knowledge on what's industries the majority of startups are in, in Austin? Slightly surprised, wouldn't have thought of it as much of a tech town.

 
Jul 17, 2017 - 4:26pm

Austin is a huge tech town, it's the biggest private industry there at this point. I'm actually surprised ledger123 put LA above it. I would've thought Seattle would be somewhere up there as well.

Array
 
Jul 17, 2017 - 5:12pm

From what I've witnessed (just my perspective):

SF Bay Area

(gap)

NYC
Boston
Austin
Los Angeles
Seattle
A few others...

The ventrue capital industry is more prominent in the US than abroad, but internationally big players include:

London, Shanghai, Beijing, etc.. India, Israel, and Germany also have significant activity.

 
Nov 26, 2017 - 10:15pm

According to Ryan Howard, the next Silicon Valley is the "Silicon Prairie" of Southwestern Ohio. Hence why he moved to Miami, OH a "big university town"

Does the Tiger fire the Monkey? Does the Tiger transfer the Monkey to another branch?
  • 1
 
Nov 27, 2017 - 8:59am

the only thing big in that town is his nose.

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 3:20am

The Bay Area leads by a mile. Boston (really) follows, then New York, LA, and Seattle in that order.

Check CBI or Pitchbook if you need to confirm.

Here are a couple articles (same author) with no paywall with pretty fresh data: CityLab (2014) and The Atlantic (2016).

Boston is the sleeper people forget about. It's the cluster for hard sciences: aeronautics, robotics, a ton of machine learning, and life sciences.

It's hard to build proprietary dealflow up there, too. It's a mafia, especially in life sciences. They take care of their own. The same set of guys start a series of companies across a decade out of the same lab research they were doing as a group. They show them to the same set of investors, and as they get liquidity from their first exits, become LPs in those same investors' funds and also angels for the younger staff in their labs who want to try their own hand as founders.

Larry Bock, before he passed, is a fantastic example. The man was prolific and a genius (started 50 companies with a combined market cap of over $70bn just from those that were public exits), and nobody outside of the life sciences community knew about him. See:

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 3
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 6:21am

APAE:

The Bay Area leads by a mile. Boston (really) follows, then New York, LA, and Seattle in that order.

Check CBI or Pitchbook if you need to confirm.

Here are a couple articles (same author) with no paywall with pretty fresh data: CityLab (2014) and The Atlantic (2016).

Boston is the sleeper people forget about. It's the cluster for hard sciences: aeronautics, robotics, a ton of machine learning, and life sciences.

It's hard to build proprietary dealflow up there, too. It's a mafia, especially in life sciences. They take care of their own. The same set of guys start a series of companies across a decade out of the same lab research they were doing as a group. They show them to the same set of investors, and as they get liquidity from their first exits, become LPs in those same investors' funds and also angels for the younger staff in their labs who want to try their own hand as founders.

Larry Bock, before he passed, is a fantastic example. The man was prolific and a genius (started 50 companies with a combined market cap of over $70bn just from those that were public exits), and nobody outside of the life sciences community knew about him. See:
- the memoriam from the guys at Lux
- the Xconomy memoriam
- a summary in the WSJ of companies he started

Re Larry Bock: You forgot to add that he was actually blind from the age 29.

 
Jul 18, 2017 - 1:00pm

5 million I've learned (from a friend with a major disability) that pointing out someone's accomplishments despite their disability may seem well-intentioned ("wow, look at how hard he worked to overcome") but is actually a slap in the face to someone who views themselves as normal and wants to be treated as such.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 2
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 12:52pm

APAE:

Boston is the sleeper people forget about. It's the cluster for hard sciences: aeronautics, robotics, a ton of machine learning, and life sciences.

Good point. I remember the first time I read about Route 128. I don't think most people know how instrumental Boston was and is to technology. If you haven't read it already, you'll like this post.

Also, thanks for sharing re: Larry Bock. Seems like an incredible guy.

Maximum effort.
  • 1
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 1:37pm

APAE:

Boston is the sleeper people forget about. It's the cluster for hard sciences: aeronautics, robotics, a ton of machine learning, and life sciences.

It's hard to build proprietary dealflow up there, too. It's a mafia, especially in life sciences. They take care of their own. The same set of guys start a series of companies across a decade out of the same lab research they were doing as a group. They show them to the same set of investors, and as they get liquidity from their first exits, become LPs in those same investors' funds and also angels for the younger staff in their labs who want to try their own hand as founders.

This. I have been able to see this firsthand through a personal relationship of mine (don't want to go into detail as this is a public forum). So far I have not observed this trend anywhere else in major VC hubs. It's quite unique and just goes to show how you do not have to start out in finance or anything and still can still make the transition over to VC. However, in order to break into the Boston VC scene at the moment, it seems that you need a somewhat heavy science background.

 
Jul 19, 2017 - 12:28pm

What metric are you using in your assessment that Boston is 2 and NYC is 3? The New England region trails NYC in both deal value and number of deals.

"Not me. Im in my prime"

 
Aug 18, 2017 - 3:09pm

In the very post you replied to, I included two links to publicly available articles and also mentioned two paid resources you could use as well if you had access.

APAE:

The Bay Area leads by a mile. Boston (really) follows, then New York, LA, and Seattle in that order.

Check CBI or Pitchbook if you need to confirm.

Here are a couple articles (same author) with no paywall with pretty fresh data: CityLab (2014) and The Atlantic (2016).

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

  • 1
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 4:42am

From what I've seen, if you look at the scale of the startups, obviously SV, LA and NY top the list.

But the game changes once you account for the QUALITY of startups. If you take that parameter into account, and look at the places where such tangible value is actually being generated, the list shifts.

SF still takes the top position. Boston and Austin are other places where innovation is happening. London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm are some of the European cities. Dubai is a very small, yet rising center in the Middle East, and seems to be popular with a lot of Russians for some reason (maybe because Moscow faltered). Tel Aviv is a huge place for startups. In Asia, there's Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Bangalore to some extent. Bangkok, like Dubai, is increasingly becoming popular, but small. Australia has a very small ecosystem in Sydney, and I think Auckland will become increasingly popular too. Santiago in Chile would be one to watch out for too.

If you are looking at joining a VC firm though, best to stick with those in traditional financial centres such as NY, SF, LA, London, etc. because most of these startups in smaller cities flock to these cities anyways for funding.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."
  • 1
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 10:35am

Zero startups in Japan. Macron's going to do shit for the VC economy - his pushing forward with a dumb austerity agenda.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."
 
Jul 18, 2017 - 1:27pm

In China, it's absolutely Beijing and Shenzhen (hardware focus) over Shanghai.

Also, a week ago in the FT: "Investments in private tech companies in Asia have topped those in the US for the first time" (can't seem to post link yet). Granted, this is Asia overall but gives you a sense of the dynamics. Think people outside of China still somewhat underestimate the scale/growth of the venture/tech space here.

 
Jul 19, 2017 - 3:27am

Europe needs a European VC hub. That means a VC hub which operates in English not in German/French/Spanish . Domestic talent , however good it is (which is never better than pooling people from a bigger population) it will make at best a local hub, not a regional one. Foreign talent is essential

 
Jul 20, 2017 - 1:29am

Together San Francisco and San Jose (Bay Area) account for 26% of global VC funding.

 
Jul 24, 2017 - 10:30am

Hmm, some of these comments seem quite outdated. Things are changing very quickly in this industry and I'd say in 2017,

SF Bay Area #1 of course
Then Boston, NYC, LA (growing fast!)
Then Chicago, Seattle, Austin

Internationally,

London, Beijing, Shanghai
Then Shenzhen, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Seoul, Frankfurt
Then Jakarta, Toronto, Paris, Bangalore, Moscow

Singapore and Hong Kong aren't doing too well in the VC space actually. Singapore is on a down trend except in the fintech space and Hong Kong was never a startup/VC hub.

Whoever mentioned Tokyo or any other Japanese cities may be 50 years too early. Japanese are the most risk-averse people I know and this makes it very hard for the country to develop any startup/VC hub.

Some mentioned how Shanghai is not a big startup hub, but it really is in many, many sectors.

Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.
  • 1
 
Jul 24, 2017 - 2:38pm

Boston seems to be where it is at for VC on the East Coast. The only issue I see with Boston is that it is too focused in one niche: biotech, whereas in the SF Bay Area, there's a multitude of different industries to invest in. Call me crazy but it may actually be easier to break into VC in the SF Bay Area because from what I've seen so far in Boston, the majority of GP's, prinicapls, etc, were former scientists themselves.

 
Aug 9, 2017 - 5:15am

I agree with what many people mentioned but I'll elaborate a few things.

SF Bay Area is by far the best place for any startup.

[Major gap - why? because it's really hard to find really GREAT product folks outside Silicon Valley... Mark Suster on carpool.vc talks about this this]

NYC
LA (this is higher if you are looking at consumer/media...)
Boston (this is higher if you are looking at biotech)
Seattle
Chicago (Groupon is still king but new ones are emerging such as Uptake and Tempus)
Austin

A major one a lot of folks is forgetting is Pittsburgh especially with autonomous driving (ATC, Argo AI, Aurora.tech), robotics (Astrobotics, Carnegie Robots), CMU, AlphaLab and other examples such as Helomics, Schell Games, Duolingo.

Other areas I've seen that are interesting :
Detroit/Ann Arbor (FarmLogs, Benzinga, Millendo Therapeutics, Duo Security... and several autonomous driving)
Atlanta (MailChimp, Namely)
Chattanooga (SupplyHog, Bellhop)
Boise/Idaho (Cradlepoint, Clearwater Analytics, TSheets, Meal Ticket, Rohinni)
Las Vegas (OrderWithMe)

International China is probably the largest VC outside the US, then Japan (SoftBank)... in terms of companies Israel (lot's of really great cyber especially with 8200). And lastly, LATAM has a lot of interesting startup activities especially Brazil and Colombia.

 
Aug 9, 2017 - 11:40am

atlas11546:

NYC
LA (this is higher if you are looking at consumer/media...)
Boston (this is higher if you are looking at biotech)
Seattle
Chicago (Groupon is still king but new ones are emerging such as Uptake and Tempus)
Austin

Is this in order of what you think is the best? And personally I am very interested in working in Boston VC but as far as I can tell, the majority of startups in the area are in biotech. I feel like NYC would be a little more diverse in terms of sector.

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