2016 NYC Startup Report: $9.5B in funding and 109 exits

Written by Taylor Majewski
Published on Jan. 31, 2017
2016 NYC Startup Report: $9.5B in funding and 109 exits

New York City’s digital tech companies had a strong 2016.

421 New York-based tech companies received funding last year, collectively raising more than $9.5 billion, following a nationwide cooldown in funding activity.

Dollars from exit events totaled over $5 billion with more than 100 companies exiting in 2016. Financial terms were not disclosed for the majority of those deals, but 12 companies exited for over $100 million, including high-profile companies such as Gawker ($135 million) and Gilt Groupe ($250 million). Congruent with the industry’s slowed IPO numbers, no NYC tech companies went public in 2016.

Funding breakdown

The highest funded industry in 2016 was B2B software, with 111 companies raising funding in that vertical. In total, B2B companies raised a whopping $3.9 billion, led by large rounds for Infor ($2.5 billion) and Logicworks ($135 million).

Among consumer web and mobile companies, 63 companies received funding in 2016. In the largest rounds, ridesharing dominated, with Gett raising $400 million over two rounds and Via raising $100 million.

A booming industry in New York, healthtech also had a big year. 36 companies raised funding, with tech unicorn Oscar Health raising $400 million and Flatiron Health raising $175 million.

Not surprisingly, fintech, an outgrowth of New York’s established financial sector, also showed its strength. 35 fintech companies brought in venture capital in 2016, raising over $459 million collectively. Robo-advisor Betterment’s $100 million Series E accounted for almost one-fourth of this total.

It should also be noted that while only 12 real estate-tech companies raised funding, when they did raise, they made it count. 13 companies raised $941 million collectively, with coworking titan WeWork leading the way with two huge rounds — one for $260 million and one for $430 million.

Checking in with the unicorns

Another tech-driven real estate platform, Compass, secured its largest funding round to date in 2016, which drove the company’s valuation over $1 billion.

New York’s existing billion dollar companies also didn’t slow in 2016, with six unicorn organizations raising over $3.9 billion, collectively. Infor led the way with its massive $2.5 billion round, followed by WeWork’s $690 million in capital collected throughout the year. Martech powerhouse Sprinklr ($105 million), media giant BuzzFeed ($200 million), and healthtech company Oscar ($400 million) also raised weighty rounds, making tremendous strides in some of New York City’s most highly valued startups.

Additionally, e-commerce unicorn Gilt Groupe was acquired by Hudson’s Bay Company for $250 million. Prominent adtech company, AppNexus, also filed to go public in 2016, putting the company on close IPO watch in 2017.

Major acquisitions

109 New York City tech companies were acquired this year, with 105 of those located in Manhattan and four in Brooklyn. While the majority of companies exited for an undisclosed sum, we counted 14 hefty buyouts among local tech companies in 2016.

Business intelligence company Penton sold to Informa for $1.6 billion, and Insight Ventures Partners wrote a $624 check to acquire Diligent. The most notorious acquisition of the year went to Univision Communications, which bought Gawker Media for $135 million following the company’s public legal battle with Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel.

Regardless of how 2017 unfolds, it’s safe to say that New York City has cemented itself as a leader in innovation and talent among the nation’s emerging tech markets.

Built In NYC’s Annual Report is a financial analysis of digital tech employers in New York City for 2016. To be eligible for inclusion, a company’s primary business and industry must be digital technology/innovation, including web and mobile applications, software, IoT, e-commerce, VR/AR and digital agency work. Data is compiled from SEC filings, press releases, confirmed news reports and other public databases. Funding data includes venture capital, private equity, debt financing and securitizations.


Hiring Now
RTB House
AdTech • Artificial Intelligence • Digital Media • eCommerce • Marketing Tech