A Super VC Matchup: Washington vs. Colorado

January 29, 2014

Washington and Colorado, two states that have mountainous landscapes, top ski destinations and legalized recreational use of marijuana, also happen to be home to the two NFL teams facing each other in Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday. While Washington and Colorado have much in common, the two teams representing them in the Super Bowl couldn’t be more different. The Seattle Seahawks, led by a young quarterback, have the best defense in the NFL. The Denver Broncos, on the other hand, led by a veteran quarterback who is arguably the best to ever play at his position, own the top offense in the league. It’s a case of an unstoppable force crashing into an immovable object, and boy will it be fun to watch.

20140130 - Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson | Courtesy of Larry Maurer, Wikimedia Commons

A similarly intriguing matchup can be seen in the comparison of both states’ bustling venture capital scenes.

There were 166 completed VC deals in Washington in 2013, good for second best in the state’s history, PitchBook data show. Meanwhile, capital invested hit $932 million. Although Colorado saw both fewer financings (100) and less capital invested ($637.5 million) than Washington last year, The Centennial State’s largest VC deal in 2013—an $84 million Series E round for Broomfield-based Accera—was far and away the biggest financing between the two states. Both states’ IT sectors accounted for the largest portions of deal flow; however the industries with the second-largest share in each state differed. Colorado’s B2B sector took in the second-most deals in the state (21%), while in Washington it was the B2C sector that earned that distinction (16%).

Much like Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who is a seasoned, established veteran, Colorado had a larger portion of deals that were late stage investments than Washington in 2013. Such investments accounted for nearly 40% of all deals completed in Colorado, compared to 24% for Washington. On the flip side, Washington’s VC trend resembled the Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson—a young standout filled with promise. Roughly 76% of the deals completed in The Evergreen State in 2013 were early stage investments, compared to 61% for Colorado.

To see more side-by-side stats, as well as to check out some hand-picked awards based on several VC categories, check out the datagraphic below.

Datagraphic by Jennifer Sam and Tessa Griffin

Datagraphic by Jennifer Sam and Tessa Griffin

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