The pandemic didn’t dampen investments last year in Dallas and the U.S., but 2021 has brought an explosion of even larger funding rounds as the economy moves toward recovery.
Dallas-area startups racked up over $1 billion in funding for the first time during the three-month period that ended in June, according to a new State of Venture report from CB Insights. That represents an increase of about 355% from the same period of 2020.
Irving-based Caris Life Sciences buoyed Dallas’ total investments. It received the second-largest funding round in the U.S. and the largest in North Texas with $830 million. It was beaten out only by Cary, N.C.-based gaming company Epic Games, which saw a $1 billion investment.
The cash infusion gave Caris a nearly $8 billion valuation. Investors for the round included OrbiMed Advisors, Highland Capital Management, Fidelity Investments, CPP Investments, Silver Lake, Millennium Management and ClearBridge Investments.
Thirteen-year-old Caris is working on a platform that uses molecular science and artificial intelligence to create customized cancer treatment plans for patients. It’s also developing a simple blood test for detecting cancer.
The top five investments locally in the second quarter were:
The quarterly total is more than half of the capital raised by Dallas-area companies in all of 2020, when startups and early-stage companies attracted $1.9 billion in investments during the pandemic. That amount was a 69% increase over 2019.
Investments in the U.S. as a whole have surged, hitting a record $138.9 billion for the first half of 2021, nearing 2020′s total of $149.3 billion. The U.S. led in global funding, followed by Asia.
The past three months saw the birth of 136 unicorns globally, a 491% increase year-over-year. The U.S. led in unicorns — generally considered to be companies with valuation of $1 billion or more — with 76 total.
Fintech is the golden child of funding at the moment with $1 of every $5 globally going to the growing industry. Fintech companies represented 22% of global funding for the period.
Austin startups neared the $2 billion mark with $1.8 billion in investments, up 365.8% from the same quarter of 2020. The top funding rounds for the city included:
- $300 million to collaboration and project management software company Workrise
- $300 million to freight forwarding and courier services company Arrive Logistics
- $150 million to comparison shopping company The Zebra
- $136 million to real estate company Homeward
- $110 million to monitoring and security company Brinqa