Spring break in Miami didn’t used to be a place where startup types flocked to talk fintech. How times change.
Last week, it was hard for financial news followers to avoid headlines coming out of the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami, with its mix of celebrity speakers, prominent investors, politicians and late-night revelers. And while the South Florida city has always been famous as a place to play, it’s more recently gotten a rep in the startup scene as a place to network too.
At Crunchbase News, we’ve been following growth in funding to Florida’s startup scene, which has been expanding for a few years and picked up momentum during the pandemic. Miami in particular was a trendy hot spot, as remote workers and investors, untethered from their old commutes, flocked to this famously humid, beachy and multicultural metro.
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Funding has followed. In 2021, Miami-headquartered companies raised a record $2.6 billion across more than 150 disclosed-size seed through late-stage rounds. The pace looks to be accelerating in 2022, with over $1 billion invested across at least 67 disclosed rounds.
It’s a big jump considering that in the past, Miami companies might raise a few hundred million in a good year. For perspective, here are funding totals for the past five years:
- 2022 YTD: -$1.03 billion across 67 rounds1
- 2021: $2.6B across 151 rounds
- 2020: $369M across 98 rounds
- 2019: $459M across 82 rounds
- 2018: $128M across 92 rounds
- 2017: $114M across 80 rounds
So far this year, by far the largest and highest-profile round went to Yuga Labs, the NFT upstart best known for its Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. The year-old company raised a whopping $450 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Next up is Novo, a digital banking platform for small businesses and freelancers that raised $90 million in a Series B led by Stripes. After that is Metaversal, a startup that co-creates and co-produces NFT projects with applications in the metaverse, which raised $50 million in a January Series A round.
Looking at recently funded Miami companies, one standout observation is that they skew heavily to the crypto/NFT/blockchain/metaverse sphere. There’s also a heavy dose of fintech in the mix. Deep tech is less pervasive, and given that Miami isn’t a major technology company headquarters town, this isn’t entirely surprising.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Round counts only include rounds with a disclosed dollar amount.↩
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