Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) and Innovation Works, Inc. released its eighth annual review of Pittsburgh’s technology investment landscape. This report provides a comprehensive review of investment and exit activity in the Pittsburgh region from 2010—2019.
According to the report, 2019 represented a record year, with 139 unique Pittsburgh area startups attracting close to $3.0 billion in funding. In the past 10 years, nearly 600 unique Pittsburgh companies attracted more than $6.6 billion in investment. While the total number of companies funded declined slightly from 2018, from 147 to 139 companies in 2019, the amount of investment dollars increased more than 5X from $550 million to almost $3.0 billion driven by $2.0 billion of corporate investment and $928 million of venture capital investment.
The report continued that the amount of available investment capital resident in local venture capital funds increased slightly in 2019, however, outside firms attracted by Pittsburgh’s growing reputation as a technology hub filled the gap. Approximately 270 firms from around the world invested in Pittsburgh companies in the last five years, including 39 making their first investmentin our region in 2019.
These firms were attracted by Pittsburgh’s regional strengths in AI, robotics, and life sciences, with autonomous vehiclesand robotics continuing to draw the lion’s share of investment dollars (87%) in 2019. Pittsburgh’s leading class technicalcapabilities and talent, the $10 billion of university research over the past decade, capital efficiency and $10.7 billionof exit proceeds over the past decade combine to make Pittsburgh an attractive destination for investors.
Both EY US and Innovation Works, Inc. are committed to supporting entrepreneurial growth in the region. Tracking investment activity helps us begin conversations with new investors interested in regional deals, informs local investors about our strengths versus other communities, and chronicles what’s working and where we need to focus efforts. We hope this report provides you with useful insights into the state of the local technology community and venture capital ecosystem and inspires new ways to move it forward.