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Report: More than $687M invested in Pittsburgh tech companies in 2017

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Argo AI
Ford's investment in February 2017 of $1 billion over five years in the Pittsburgh self-driving car startup Argo AI sparked a record-breaking year of investment for Pittsburgh-area tech companies. (Photo from Argo AI)

Pittsburgh-area tech startups saw record levels of funding in 2017, nearly doubling total investment from 2016 and skyrocketing to a 10-year high, according to a report released Tuesday by Innovation Works and Ernst & Young.

Investors poured more than $687 million into Pittsburgh tech companies in 2017, capping a decade of investment that totaled more than $3.5 billion.

β€œThe trends emerging from the past 10 years paint a compelling portrait of regional growth and point towards a bright future,” Rich Lunak, CEO of Innovation Works, and Leon Hoffman, managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Pittsburgh office, wrote in the introduction to the report, titled: β€œ A decade of growth: Investment in Pittsburgh’s technology sector .”

The report analyzed investment in Pittsburgh tech companies over the last 10 years. Graphs scattered throughout the report show more companies, more deals and more money throughout the decade.

The amount of money invested in Pittsburgh tech companies grew nearly 200 percent from 2008 to 2017, according to the report. Investment totaled $231 million in 2008 and $687 million in 2017. The number of companies receiving investment grew from 71 in 2008 to 158 in 2017. And the number of deals increased from 85 in 2008 to 195 in 2017.

Last year was a record year in many ways. Total investment hit a 10-year high, and so did the number of companies receiving investment and the number of deals. The year was bolstered by two of the largest investments for privately held Pittsburgh tech companies on record. Ford announced in February 2017 that it would invest $1 billion in the Pittsburgh-based self-driving car startup Argo AI. Petuum, an artificial intelligence startup, announced in October it raised $93 million.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected], 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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