Venture funds finding Vegas, add $37.7 mil

All the talk about Las Vegas’ bubbling tech sector and the city’s lust for innovation is catching the eye of venture capitalists.

In the final summary of venture investing in 2014, Las Vegas has made its way to #61 among 160 metropolitan areas tracked with five deals totaling $37.72 million.

That’s a long way from the 876 deals worth $15.74 billion done in San Francisco or the 417 deals worth $6.88 billion in San Jose. But it’s enough to move Sin City ahead of Miami, Columbus, Hartford and Memphis.

It’s also a four-fold increase since the 2013 report, which showed just three deals worth $9.6 million.

The largest investments in 2014 were $20 million to Playstudios, a game-based marketing idea, and the $10 million investment in Full Spectrum Laser, detailed in last week’s Business Press.

Reno came in at #107 on the list with three deals worth $7.55 million.

The list compiled by the National Venture Capital Association traced 4,354 deals worth almost $48.3 billion in 160 markets. The report Money Tree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association is based on Thomson Reuters data.

“Great ideas and great companies can be started almost anywhere and while historically concentrated, the venture capital ecosystem is able to move capital quickly and efficiently toward the greatest opportunities,” said Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the association.

Boston and New York trailed the Bay Area cities with Los Angeles moving up to #5.

Phoenix had 28 deals worth $243 million, good for 26th place. Provo-Orem, Utah, was 16th with 15 deals worth $468.72 million.

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