Venture Capital firms were bullish on Austin startups in the first quarter of 2018, putting the metro area on pace for a potentially record-setting year of fundraising, a new report shows.

Austin area startups raised more than $368 million across 41 deals in the first quarter, according to a quarterly report by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. By comparison, VCs invested $220 million in Q1 last year and $226 million in Q1 2016.

This year’s funding activity does, however, fall short of the banner year Austin had in 2015, when PitchBook logged a whopping $495 million worth of VC funding.

Austin’s strong first quarter syncs with an increase in venture capital activity across the nation, which is on pace for a record year. VCs nationwide invested $28 billion in the first quarter — the highest amount for a single quarter since 2006.

The Top Austin Tech Startup Fundings, Acquisitions and Venture Fund Activity of March 2018

But the big dollars go to relatively few startups in just a few areas.

Companies valued at more than $1 billion landed 18 percent of the investments. And the West Coast, mostly the Bay Area, accounted for more about 60 percent of the total dollars invested.

Austin ranked eighth in total deals, with 41 funding rounds tallied by PitchBook and NVCA. The San Francisco area led with 303, followed by New York with 226 and Boston with 131. San Jose logged 100; Chicago had 52 and Seattle topped Austin with 49 deals.

Here were the top five deals.

  1. SparkCognition – $56 million (Read more)
  2. Phunware – $46 million (Read more)
  3. Mythic – $40 million (Read more)
  4. Ambiq Micro – $34 million
  5. TurnKey Vacation Rentals – $31 million (Read more)

Austin also had a relatively strong quarter for exits, with eight deals logged.

Exits included an IPO by Genprex, a biotech startup in Austin, as well as acquisition deals for Ihiji, Health Hat, Kimbia, Circle Media, CloudCoreo, Favor and Invodo.