San Diego’s 2021 Capital Round Up

Mar 9, 2022

$9B in Venture Capital Funding for San Diego County – 2021

San Diego County startups raised over $9 BILLION in 2021, according to deal data analyzed by Connect. It sometimes feels repetitive, with each of these reports announcing a new record high, but it’s important to continue to celebrate these wins for our region. Just six years ago, San Diego County was struggling to break $1B in annual venture funding, and in 2021 we hit $9B!

The first graph below shows San Diego’s funding totals compared against a number of other startup regions across the country. San Diego County data is collected and analyzed by Connect, while the remaining metro areas are reported by CB Insights. As was shared in our 2021 Q3 wrapup, San Diego has been left off of the State of Venture Report from CB Insights, but Connect is happy to share our data on San Diego and compare it against similarly sized venture markets. San Diego still trails the venture mega-regions of Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, but we lead the pack of the remaining metro areas in the report.

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Since we shared our 2021 Q3 Venture Update, four more local startups have raised venture rounds in excess of $100M: Shoreline BioSciences, Cloudbeds, Platform Science, and Kandji. In total, mega deals (>$100M) contributed to over $4.4B of the total $9B raised in 2021.

The second graph shows San Diego’s annual VC investment into the region since 2010. When paired with the following graph showing Quarterly funding in 2021, it’s incredible to see that in each quarter of 2021 San Diego startups raised more than they had in entire years prior to 2018.

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Next, let’s look at the last two graphs comparing San Diego’s life science and technology industries. While technology verticals outpaced the life sciences in total deal count, life sciences companies raised about $1B more in venture funding in 2021. This trend is replicated when looking at the early stage deals (up to and including Series A) of the two industries, but does not quite extend to later stage deals (post Series A) where the life sciences only outpace the technology industries in total dollars raised.

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Note: This will sadly be Matt’s last time reporting on the San Diego innovation economy as an employee of Connect. He departs the organization in search of his next challenge. Matt had this to say about his time at Connect, “The last four years have been a remarkable ride, being able to watch the explosive growth of San Diego’s innovation economy from inside the rocket as it ascends. I’d like to thank everyone who has had an impact on my work and my personal and professional growth from inside and outside of Connect. The future of our Innovation Economy continues to look bright, and as always, I can’t wait to see what San Diego accomplishes next!”

Matt Kroe

Matt Kroe

Capital Programs Manager

Matt Kroe leads the production of the San Diego Innovation Report each year, and reports innovation company fundings and M&As in the region.