Texas is known for its strong economy and entrepreneurial spirit, making it a thriving hub for technology and innovation in the United States. The state’s startup ecosystem is characterized by a diverse range of industries, from oil and gas to healthcare and biotech.
Texas is currently ranked as the #4 state in the US for venture capital investment, following only California, New York and Massachusetts. It is home to several major cities, including Houston, Austin, and Dallas, which have all emerged as hotspots for startup activity.
Austin, in particular, has become known as the “Silicon Hills”. Austin is home to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, which has become a major event for startups looking to showcase their products and network with potential investors.
In addition to Austin, other cities in Texas are also making a mark in the startup world. Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, which is driving innovation in healthcare and biotech. Dallas has a thriving fintech scene, with companies such as The Beneficient Company Group and o9 Solutions calling the city home.
Venture Capital investment in Texas has increased dramatically in the last decade. Texan startups raised $11.8B in 2021, up from $1.8B in 2010. While investment fell between 2021 and 2022, amid a global pullback in venture capital investment, the drop in Texas (-24%) was more modest than overall US (-33%) or global (-31%) venture capital. Unlike California or New York, Texas is a state with multiple major tech hubs - Austin, Houston and Dallas.
By Metro Areas
Austin, home to SXSW, Tesla, NetSuite and the Boring Company is the leading tech hub in Texas, by value creation and venture capital. Houston and Dallas are also important clusters of innovation and entrepreneurship, more than $1.5B of venture capital was raised in each city in 2022.
Cities’ startup ecosystems often mirror their industrial heritage, and it’s no different in Texas. While Enterprise software and Health are the the biggest funding category, Energy over-indexes compared the overall US tech ecosystem, with 8% of venture capital raised by Texan startups in the last five years went to Energy startups, compared to 5% of overall US VC. Compared to its fossil fuel legacy, Texan climate tech startups are leading in the transition to energy sustainability and security.
While overall investment has fallen from the peak of 2021, early-stage investment has remained largely unaffected. The bulk of the drop has come from late-stage megarounds of more than $100M+. Smaller ticket sizes, which are also inherently longer-term bets, have continued to be an active and competitive space, in Texas and beyond - a sign of future promise.
Texas is the 4th US State by number of unicorns, with 70 unicorns HQ & Founded in Texas.
There are more than 300 investors based in Texas that have made multiple startup investments. Of those investors headquartered in Texas, Seed investor 8VC has been the most active in the last five years.
The top three in the list of most active investors (based anywhere) investing in Texas startups are all funds that are based in the state. Silverton Partners top the list, followed by LiveOak Venture Partners and Next Coast Ventures.
Combined with other innovation data, patent intelligence add an entirely different perspective to innovation mapping, with a different set of industry players and longer time horizons. Looking at the different patent subclasses, Storage and Processors are historically the subclasses where patents are being the most filed in Texas.
Spotlight on: Austin
America’s 11th-largest city, Austin, Texas might very well be the country’s next hotbed for tech: Tesla has recently filed with the city to expand their Gigafactory, the new curved office tower leased by Google is set to sail into Austin’s skyline in just a few months. Many of the world’s biggest tech companies like Apple, Amazon, Meta and SpaceX all have established large workforces and campuses in the Austin metropolitan area. Following the lead of these giants, mid-sized tech companies are flocking to the region.
Austin is the 8th US Metro Area for 2022 VC Investment, with VC Investment growing 119% between 2020 and 2022.
Health is the biggest funding category in Austin, over-indexing compared the overall Texas tech ecosystem.
- Report: Austin: a global startup & scaleup hub, The next generation of tech ecosystems
- Briefings: Austin is home to 20 unicorns, with more in the paddock
- Dealroom Data: Explore Texas ecosystem platform, explore the Austin ecosystem platform, benchmark VC investment by US state