Pitchbook Report: SXSW Accelerator Investments, Exits Since 2007

Austin—The South by Southwest technology conference draws executives from countless companies worth billions of dollars to Austin every year and, with them, investors that want a piece of their equity. But the companies that often get the most attention are the ones that aren’t worth much at all—yet.

One way SXSW attendees get to see a variety of the nascent startups that haven’t yet reached huge valuations is through pitch competitions and accelerator programs, such as the namesake SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event. This morning, the SXSW Accelerator released a report that analyzes the impact of companies that participated in its first 10 years of operations.

Developed with data analytics firm Pitchbook, the report notes that 403 companies have participated in the annual pitch event since it started in 2007. The SXSW Accelerator plans to have 50 more companies present during the 2018 SXSW event, from which winners in 10 categories will be selected. (The deadline to register is Nov. 10.)

Since 2007, companies that have pitched at the accelerator’s demo day have raised $4.6 billion, with $1.3 billion of that funding coming from companies that participated in 2011, according to the Pitchbook report. Some of those companies are quite well known, such as Siri, Soylent, Sphero, and Hipmunk. Others aren’t as famous, but have still had some financial success, according to the report.

Kabbage, an Atlanta, GA-based startup with software that aids in lending to small businesses and individuals, has raised $491 million, including a $250 million round earlier this year from Softbank.

Tango, a messaging and calling app founded in Mountain View, CA, reached a $1 billion valuation in 2014, the report notes. Still, the company laid off some of its staff in 2016 after its CEO resigned and the replacement sought to cut budgets across the company, according to Forbes.

Of the 403 companies that have participated, 35 have either sold or gone public, Pitchbook says. Emeryville, CA-based TubeMogul raised about $44 million in an initial public offering in 2014—about half the amount the company expected to IPO for—and sold to Adobe last year for $540 million, according to news reports.

Notably, the most active investor in companies that were in the SXSW Accelerator is associated with another accelerator: Techstars Ventures. Since SXSW Accelerator started, Techstars Ventures has made 29 investments in companies that pitch there. The second highest total is the 17 deals made by 500 Startups.

For more details from the Pitchbook report, you can download it from the SXSW website.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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