The Southeast region is now home to over 300 individual venture capital firms, according to data collected by Embarc Collective and Build In SE’s Southeast Capital Landscape Report, a directory of active investors in the region.
That number — 309 at the time of this publication — is up more than 30% over the last three years. That density is centered around Georgia, Florida, and Tennesse, as Atlanta has 59 firms in the database, followed by Miami (40), Nashville (34), and Tampa (24).
While 123 firms are industry agnostic in terms of investing criteria, 85 invest specifically in healthcare, and 110 are focused on enterprise or software startups.
The data captured in the report also suggest that over 40% of early-stage VCs in Atlanta alone have a diverse management team or a focus on investing in diverse founders, suggesting access to capital is becoming more accessible to typically underrepresented founders.
Allie Felix, VP of Platform at Embarc Collective, told Hypepotamus that this growth comes from a mixture of transplant and homegrown talent investing in the ecosystem.
Felix, herself a Southeast native who has returned home after spending time in The Bay and NYC, believes the “flywheel” effect is starting to take hold across the region with new talent and new investors come to the region.
As “work-from-anywhere” models became the norm over the course of the pandemic, firms from around the country moved to the Southeast or opened additional offices in the area to capture the impressive deal flow coming out of the region over the last few years.
Larger names in VC like Softbank, Founders Fund, Harlem Capital, and General Catalyst all opened offices in the region. These firms are already making a splash in the area; Softbank launched a $100 million initiative to invest in local Miami startups and General Catalyst entered the Southeast market to at CivicTech startups.
New Focus, New Growth
It’s no surprise that the Southeast has enticed out-of-town investors to move. But as the ecosystem of FinTech, MedTech, and B2B SaaS startups continue to grow across the region, it has helped the region retain college graduates from top engineering schools like Georgia Tech, Duke, Virginia Tech, University of Miami, and North Carolina State.
That talent pool has ushered in a more diverse pool of founders, many of whom have entered the local VC world and are focused on investing in the local startup scene.
Founders are encouraged to check the list for potential investors in the area, and investors who are not yet listed are invited to add their firm to the database here.