Tulane Report Shows Investment Gains for New Orleans Startup Ventures

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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans startups are making substantial gains in attracting investment funding while also adopting more flexible work options and scaling back their office expansion plans, according to the latest findings from Tulane University’s 2021 Greater New Orleans Startup Report.

The report, compiled by the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, is based on a survey of approximately 200 startups in the 10-parish region from the first quarter of 2021.

“We can divide takeaways from this report into two broad categories,” said Lepage Center Executive Director Rob Lalka. “First, the data helps us understand what our businesses have experienced since the onset of the pandemic. Second, we saw important developments in early-stage venture financing, which prompt new questions about what the changing landscape of angel investing and venture capital will mean for our region.”

Area startups reported a marked increase in equity financing activity, such as venture capital, angel investing and convertible debt across the region. There was a 21% increase in companies reporting access to venture capital. The amount they have raised also grew, with 57% of survey respondents raising more than $1 million, compared to 42% last year.

Roughly half of survey respondents said they are raising at least 70% of their capital from investors outside the Greater New Orleans area — a 17% increase from last year. 

The report’s release comes in a year that has seen record exits for successful New Orleans ventures with local research technology company Lucid selling for $1.1 billion and construction software firm Levelset for $500 million.

“Given our ecosystem’s recent blockbuster exits — the two largest for venture-backed companies in Louisiana’s history — we have reasons to be optimistic about the future of our startup ecosystem,” Lalka said.  “Hopefully, these hometown success stories will be a prelude to many more, as investors look for the next Lucid or Levelset, while the experienced and accomplished teams who launched these companies mentor and support the next generation of great ventures.”

The full 2021 Greater New Orleans Startup Report is available at: gnostartupreport.com.

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