The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s CEO Council for Growth was among the supporters of the 2021 Philadelphia Venture Report. Produced by the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) in conjunction with PitchBook, the annual report shares deal-making trends across sectors and stages, exits, and fundraising statistics.
The report, which was released on March 22, 2022, announced a record-breaking 2021 for Philadelphia’s venture capital ecosystem with 411 deals totaling nearly $8 billion. Gopuff, a food delivery platform founded by Drexel University alumni, led the way, according to the report, with $3.6 billion raised throughout the year. “Even without Gopuff,” the report said, “Philadelphia still saw a record year, with over $4 billion invested across more than 400 rounds.”
The 2021 PACT report also noted Philadelphia’s “VC ecosystem is cementing a reputation for pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. 2021 recorded several big rounds for the sector, including Century Therapeutics ($160.0 million), Aro Biotherapeutics ($90.3 million), and Interius BioTherapeutics ($76.0 million). That trend follows one of the biggest acquisitions Philadelphia has ever seen, the $4.8 billion sale of Spark Therapeutics to Roche in 2019. Success stories like Spark’s tend to have ripple effects that can last for years, and we expect Philadelphia’s life sciences scene – and more specifically its cell & gene therapy scene – to thrive going forward.”
In a Q&A with PACT President & CEO Dean E. Miller included in the report, Miller discussed sector representation. “Philadelphia’s historic personality has leaned more toward biotech and healthcare, but the numbers of the past few years show a more balanced ecosystem that also includes significant activity in enterprise technology and consumer goods. Philadelphia continues to attract world-class investors focused on the next innovations in cell and gene therapy, traditional biotech, and healthcare – all areas where Philadelphia is a known leader.”