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Rise of the Global Startup City: The Geography of Venture Capital Investment in Cities and Metros across the Globe

Once the province of American tech hubs like California’s Silicon Valley, venture capital has gone global. This report uses detailed data from Thomson Reuters to chart the world’s leading centers for venture capital investment.

Its main findings are as follows.

  • Venture capital investment across the world totalled $42 billion in 2012, spread across more than 150 cities and metro regions globally.
  • The top 10 metros account for more than half (52 percent), the top 20 metros account for almost two-thirds, and the top 50 more than 90 percent of total global venture investment.
  • The United States accounts for nearly 70 percent (68.6 percent) of total global venture capital, followed by Asia (14.4 percent) and Europe (13.5 percent).
  • The San Francisco Bay Area, which spans Silicon Valley and San Francisco proper, remains the world’s leading center for venture capital investment attracting nearly $11 billion dollars, more than a quarter of all global venture investment. Boston is second with $3.1 billion, followed by New York with $2.1 billion and Los Angeles with $1.5 billion. Outside of the United States, London ranks seventh with $842 million, Beijing ninth with $758 million, Toronto 12th with $628 million, Shanghai 14th with $510 million, Mumbai 15th with $497 million, Paris 16th with $449 million, and Bangalore 17th with $419 million.
  • Just two broad regions — the San Francisco Bay Area and the Boston-New York-Washington Corridor — account for more than 40 percent of global venture investment.
  • Global venture investment is highly uneven and spiky — it is concentrated in a small number of large cities and metros around the world.

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Exhibit 2: Top 20 Global Metros by Venture Capital Investment

RankMetroVenture Capital Investment*Share of Global Venture Capital Investment
1San Francisco$6,47115.4%
2San Jose$4,1759.9%
4New York$2,1065.0%
5Los Angeles$1,4503.4%
6San Diego$1,4103.3%
8Washington, D.C.$8352.0%
TOP 20 METROS$26,79063.6%

*U.S. million dollars