High Growth North Carolina Companies Still Produce $1.6 billion in Funding in Challenging 2023 Venture Capital Climate

Research Triangle Park, NC. February 27, 2024 — The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) released its annual Venture Report of equity funding for calendar year 2023. Each year since 2000, CED has tracked the investments in North Carolina-headquartered, high-growth companies. In 2023, a total of 214 deals cumulatively raised $1.6 billion, down from the elevated, record levels of the prior two calendar years. “Even though the overall collective funding number fell a good bit from 2022, a positive sign is that the floor has seemingly been raised in North Carolina so that even during difficult fundraising times, well over a billion dollars raised can still be expected,” says Hunter Young, CED’s Head of Capital. “Elevated interest rates and inflation uncertainty had a major effect on the exit activity of companies via both the public markets and through acquisitions, and these factors also meant that the largest growth fundings were put on hold.”

Although the total funding number decreased, there were nearly as many total investors participating in North Carolina deals, with 317 in 2023 compared favorably to the 325 in the prior year. That momentum was especially evident with nearly the same amount of investors participating from the closest geographic regions, the Southeast and the Northeast. “A trend that has seemingly not stopped is the addition of new institutional investors who have recently moved to North Carolina for a variety of factors. Some are more visible than others, but the landscape is definitely evolving,” said Young. “On the other hand, in a sign of the region’s ascension towards even more global influence, there was greater visibility than ever from the rest of the globe as investors in 19 different countries made venture investments in the state in 2023.”

“While overall 2023 was certainly a tough year for raising capital, primarily driven by the scarcity of bigger deals, I see several positive signs for the years ahead,” said Jay Bigelow, CED’s Head of Entrepreneurship. “Nearly 200 companies did get financed, more than any other year except 2021 and 2022. Our organization tracked investment from 56 California-based funds and a record number of international investors put money to work here,” he added. “As we build more and more companies that scale, the world is taking notice.”  

At the end of March, CED is set to host its annual summit for companies raising capital, Venture Connect. With two primary stages, 125 companies will have the opportunity to pitch at this event, now in its 40th year. Venture Connect is the largest showcase for innovation across multiple industries in the USA.

About CED (Council for Entrepreneurial Development):

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development was formed in 1984 by a group of business leaders wanting to empower the successful creation and growth of entrepreneurial companies in the North Carolina region. CED acts as the connective center for all of this to happen. Through high-touch support, education, access to capital, and crucial connections, CED brings entrepreneurs together with the optimal resources needed to turn a new company into a success story.

For more insights, download a copy of the full report.

Inquires Contact: Hunter Young, Head of Capital | CED, hyoung@cednc.org

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