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New England vs. Philadelphia: Who wins this year’s VC Bowl? [datagraphic]

Think Super Bowl LII is a mismatch? When it comes to VC investments in Boston and Philadelphia, it’s not even close.

Another year, another Super Bowl appearance for the New England Patriots.

That probably won’t do much to excite the throngs of NFL fans outside the New England region. This marks the third time in the past four seasons and the eighth time since 2001 that Bill Belichick, Tom Brady & Co. have appeared in the Super Bowl. They’ve won five of those contests, and, to no one’s surprise, they are again expected to win Sunday when they face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.

After starting the week as a seven-point favorite, the Patriots as of Thursday were getting 4 1/2 points on most gambling sites. The line moved because some fool...err high-stakes gambler...bet $1 million earlier this week on the Eagles to win. Despite the fact they are starting a backup quarterback, they’ve never won a Super Bowl, and their franchise is perhaps best known for an incident when fans booed and threw snowballs at Santa Claus.

But I digress.

Why is this relevant to PitchBook? Because this Boston-vs.-Philadelphia mismatch extends beyond the football field and into the realm of venture capital. Consider: The greater Boston area outpaces the greater Philadelphia area in almost every relevant VC data point PitchBook tracks.

Perhaps the most important discrepancy? Fundraising.

Since 2015, investors have raised just 11 VC funds totaling more than $500 million in the greater Philadelphia area. To make matters worse, both fundraising totals and fund count have decreased in each of the past three years, per the PitchBook Platform, finally bottoming out in 2017 with two VC funds pulling in a combined $112 million. Meanwhile, VC fundraising in the Boston metro remained strong last year, with 19 funds pulling in about $5.3 billion, after 28 funds brought in nearly $6 billion in 2016, per PitchBook data.

Some might call that a Tom Brady vs. Nick Foles level of disparity. We’ll see Sunday if the VC Bowl accurately predicts the outcome of the real one.

(click to enlarge)

Related read: VC Super Bowl 2017: New England a heavy favorite [datagraphic]

Check out more of our sports content here.

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    Written by Adam Lewis
    Adam Lewis was a financial writer covering private equity for PitchBook. He covered dealmaking, company and investor news for the PitchBook newsletter and blogs about the intersection of private equity and politics. A graduate of the WSU’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Adam was previously a sportswriter covering the Mariners and Seahawks.
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