Venture Capital Stacks Up in South Florida


South Florida venture capital is heating up.

According to reports from eMerge Insights, so far for 2019, over $1.5 billion has been invested in 60 startups and later-stage companies in South Florida. That’s more than the $1.38 billion invested in all of 2018.

“We always envisioned Miami would be a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity, and we now have the comparative data to trace how much this ecosystem has evolved and the transformational impact we are making as a community,” added Melissa Medina, president of eMerge Americas.

Now the majority of that number was put into place by the estimated $900 million round into the SoftBank-backed  REEF Technology (formerly ParkJockey), and $280 million into AR unicorn Magic Leap. But still with those numbers the Miami metro area ranks 7th in the nation.

Here are some other findings of the mid-year report: source: eMerge Insights.

  • South Florida startups snagged three-quarters of the state of Florida’s venture capital in dollar value and half of the deals in the first half.

  • Palm Beach County companies snagged the most deals in South Florida – 42% of the pie. Miami-Dade startups took 38% and Broward drew 20%.

  • Florida is also in record-setting territory with more than $2 billion invested in 117 startups throughout the state. Like in South Florida, three quarters of the dollars were from mega-rounds: In addition to the REEF and Magic Leap rounds, Clearwater’s KnowBe4 raised $300 million in the first half.

  • South Florida’s top venture industry sector was healthcare. Health-tech, medical device and life science companies encompassed a third of the deals in South Florida, up from 23% for all of 2018. Recently, Startup Genome also identified healthcare as a significant sector for South Florida’s ecosystem.

  • About 63% of the 2019 South Florida deals so far have been angel and seed stage, about the same rate as in 2018, and significantly higher than the rate nationally.