Venture capital deal making in North Carolina declined in 2016 year-over-year even though two major reports offer different details about the scale of the decline.

Still to come is information from the Dow Jones venture report. Plus, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development has yet to release its own 2016 data, which includes much more than VC data.

The data is of particular interest in the Triangle, where historically the vast majority of the state’s venture action takes place.

According to the National Venture Capital Association and its data partner Pitchbook, N.C. deals plunged by some 40 percent in dollars and some 30 percent in fewer deals.

PricewaterhouseCoopers’ MoneyTree report also reported drops in dollars and deals, but on a much smaller scale.

Making any trend analysis more difficult is that 2015 was a very strong year for the state, just as it was nationally as VC deal-making returned to a level not seen since the “dot com” boom days more than a decade ago.

The Skinny has talked with a number of VC experts and players about what happened last year, but before sharing their perspectives let’s just look at some of the numbers.

NVCA report

2016 produced 148 deals across the state worth $764 million in 2016, according to the NVCA-Pitchbook data.

That’s down sharply from the 197 deals and $1.16 billion reported for 2015.

As has been made clear in the first reports issued by the NVCA, which dropped PwC MoneyTree in favor of PitchBook, the data appears to be more comprehensive in scooping up information. So deals and dollars are higher.

In the fourth quarter, North Carolina startups and emerging companies pulled down some $318 million across 40 deals. That wasn’t much different than the 44 deal-$335M performance in Q4 2015.

The big differences came in the other three quarters, especially Q3 in 2016 which was down nearly $300 million.

Of the 4Q deals, 18 took place in the Triangle, generating $66 million.


PwC’s report, compiled from data provided by CB Insights, noted 66 deals across the state totalling $645.5 million.

(Note: This blog was updated to note the source of data for the MoneyTree report. CB Insights, a fast-growing provider of startup and venture capital data, replaces Thomson Reuters.)

The numbers are down from 73 deals and $823 million in 2015.

Looking back at 2014, which insiders say was a more typical year, North Carolina produced 58 deals worth $389 million.

Fourth quarter deals numbering 15 generated $167 million, actually better than 2015 at 17 deals and $106 million.

Four fundings topping $20 million “made” the fourth quarter, including the $40 million raised by Phononic in the Triangle.

Medical device firm Bardy Diagnostics in Charlotte, came in second at $25.8 million.

Other big deals included the Triangle’s Micell ($25.8 million) and Pendo ($20 million.)

Charlotte’s AvidXchange produced two deals totalling more than $20 million, showing Charlotte’s emerging strength as a home for startups and emerging companies.

So what do the numbers really mean?

Check back later for what insiders are saying about these reports – and newly released Dow Jones data.