A Decade of Deep Tech Startup Growth

Key insights on VC investment in the Deep Tech sub-sector from 2012 to 2021
Farshad Fahimi
on May 26, 2022

In this post, we compare the total dollar amount spent on Deep Tech sub-sectors with the total amount spent in all major sub-sectors from 2012 to 2021.

Key insights:

  • The Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning share has increased by 277% from 2012 to 2021, and grown from 7.8% to 29.5% in terms of total capital invested. This growth is partly because more startups are including AI technology in their technology stack, and investors are also giving more attention to this sub-sector.

  • VC investment in Blockchain reached 8.1% in 2021 from just below 1% share in 2012. That’s an increase of $30 billion in VC funding.

  • Advanced Manufacturing’s share of sub-sectors increased from 0.8% to 3.4%.

  • VC investment in Life Sciences has decreased from 2012 to 2021, although in 2020, Life Sciences grew 42% from 2019. This is likely a result of COVID-19, which prompted investors to focus on the sub-sector.

How has VC investment in Deep Tech changed?

The below chart is showing the total amount of VC investment in different sectors, indexed by 100 from 2012. It shows the relative growth of the sub-sectors benchmarked.

When we indexed all Deep Tech sub-sectors on the same scale, we observed:

  • Relatively fast growth of VC investment in Blockchain since 2017.

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning — typically closely related topic in academic and industry research — were at almost the same scale in terms of growth in capital investment in 2021.

Want to know more about trends in tech startup sub-sectors? Take a look at The Steady Growth of Tech Scaleups

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