Miami area startups snagged at least $1.33B in VC in Q1. Here are the top deals

US Venture capital activity showed signs of adjustment in the first quarter of 2022 after a record-breaking 2021, according to venture capital reports released this week. But the Miami metro area made a very respectable showing in both VC investments and exit activity.

The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area companies pulled in $1.33 billion [updated] in venture capital in the first quarter across 90 deals [updated] down from $2 billion across 89 deals in Q4, according to Pitchbook’s data. For all of 2021, Miami area companies raised $4.5 billion so the metro area is well on track to potentially at least match last year’s pace, according to  Q1 2022 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor released today.

According To CB Insights’ State of Venture report released earlier this week, Miami companies raise $1.06M across 81 deals. Miami companies raised $4.7B in all of 2021, CB Insights’ data shows. Crunchbase reported $1.03 billion across 67 rounds in Q1.

[My own research tracking Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area venture capital for 2021 and 2022 is a bit higher than these data services. My 2021 report for eMerge Americas will be released next week – stay tuned.]

Among the largest South Florida deals in Q1 were homegrown companies with dozens of employees in South Florida, such as Taxfyle and Finally, as well as a number of newer-to-Miami startups, some of them actively hiring locally in Miami, including Novo. Thanks largely to a mega-round by Yuga Labs, about half of South Florida’s Q1 funding was in the crypto/web3 space. We saw crypto, blockchain and web3 funding rounds take off in the second half of 2021, vaulting to the third largest sector in 2021, after fintech and healthtech.

Here are the top deals in South Florida in Q1, according to the VC data trackers and Refresh Miami’s reporting:

  • Yuga Labs:  Miami, creator of NFT brands including Bored Apes Yacht Club, $450M
  • ThriveDX (two deals): Coral Gables, edtech company formerly known as HackerU, $100M and $75M
  • Finally: Miami, fintech creator of back office software for small businesses, $95M
  • Novo: Miami, digital bank focused on small and medium business, $90M
  • Metaversal: Miami, an NFT venture studio, $50M
  • Torticity: Boca Raton,  tech-enabled services for the legal industry, $37M
  • Lendai: enables foreign investors to easily finance non-residential US real estate, $35M
  • Spectrum Labs, an AI-powered content moderation platform, $32M
  • Miami, platform for buying health insurance, $31.3M (extension of Series  C in 2021)
  • Boopos: Miami, developing a business buying platform, $30M
  • Brain Tunnelgenix Technologies, Aventura, wearable technology that tracks human brain temperature, $29M
  • Digibee: Weston, low-code integration platform, $25M
  • Taxfyle: Miami, tax platform for consumers and businesses, $20M

Exits surged in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area in Q1, continuing a pace that began to pick up in 2021 after several slow years. There was a recorded $2.02 billion [updated] in exit activity, dominated by Technysis’ $1.1 billion transaction. Other big exits in the South Florida area were SafetyPay at $441 million and Expetitle at $15 million; according to Pitchbook. There were seven exits in Q1, some of them with terms undisclosed.

Statewide, Florida companies drew $2.54 billion in venture capital across 149 deals, according to Pitchbook. South Florida’s slice accounted for 80% of the dollar value and 60% of the deals.

Nationally, in stark contrast to the flurry of public listing activity in 2021, IPOs and exits of VC-backed startups slid during the first three months of the year with only $33.6 billion in exit value posted after three consecutive quarters over $192 billion.

Still, investment activity remained strong across the US, with Q1’s $70.7 billion in deal value representing the fifth highest total in PitchBook’s database. Deal sizes and valuations have begun to slow, however, as the companies closest to the public market see public valuations reflected on them as they look to raise capital. Quarter over quarter, deal value fell 35% from $95.4B in Q4, according to the Venture Monitor.

“The start of 2022 has shown signs of an expected adjustment for the VC industry on the heels of a two-year period where VC-backed startups served as the backbone of the U.S. economy during the global pandemic,” said NVCA President & CEO Bobby Franklin. “Where the slowdown will taper off remains to be seen, but VC investors are in a strong position with ample dry powder amassed in recent years and Q1 to continue fueling startups that are solving big needs and transforming how we live and work.”

Download the Pitchbook-NVCA Venture Monitor report here.

Download the CB Insights State of Venture report here.

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Nancy Dahlberg