Investment in Pittsburgh’s technology sector

Trends and highlights: 2014–2023

Investment in Pittsburgh’s technology sector

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) and Innovation Works, Inc. are proud to present our 12th annual review of Pittsburgh’s technology investment landscape. This report provides a comprehensive review of investment and exit activity in the Pittsburgh region for 2023 and highlights key trends for 2014–2023.

2023 was the second-highest year on record for dollars invested in Pittsburgh’s tech economy. Across several venture capital investments, large corporate deals, and a number of seed and accelerator investments, the region raked in approximately $3.12b in funding. That amount is second only to the $3.59b raised in 2021, which was a record-breaking year for funding across the globe, driven by an unprecedented volume of public offerings during the post-pandemic economic rebound. Additionally, in a year when artificial intelligence (AI) was a trendy topic, Pittsburgh landed among the top 10 metro areas in terms of number of deals generated in that industry per capita.

National fundraising volume had a year-over-year (YOY) decline from 2022 volume, which was already a significant reduction from the peak deal flow of 2021. Total deal value for 2023 came in at $170.6b, which was a 29.6% decrease from 2022’s value and a 50.9% decrease from 2021’s record-breaking value.1

But in Pittsburgh, almost every indicator related to the local fundraising environment saw an increase. In 2023, the total deal value was $3.12b, which was a 203% increase from 2022’s value, and only a 13.1% decrease from 2021’s value.

Average disclosed deal size in Pittsburgh came in at $27.1m for 2023, a 300%+ YOY increase driven by fundraising in the robotics and autonomous vehicle space. Even when those larger deals are excluded, Pittsburgh’s tech economy had a robust performance last year, with the average deal size across venture capital, angel, seed and accelerator investments increasing by 50%, from $4.6m in 2022 to $6.9m in 2023. Further, while data regarding dollars invested in Pittsburgh last year is somewhat skewed toward hardware and robotics, a look at the deal count data shows that companies across all industries are evenly attracting the attention of investors.

The Pittsburgh region saw approximately $621.5m invested by institutional investors, $2.2b invested by corporates and $89.0m in angel, pre-seed or seed funding. Some of the top early stage deals last year — including Series A fundraising — were Optimus Technologies, LyGenesis, Agile Space Industries, Formlogic and BlastPoint. Drawing in the highest volume of investment to the region was the autonomous vehicle industry, with Stack AV’s billion-dollar funding from SoftBank and Aurora’s combined private placement and second public offering. Though industry experts continue to point out the long road to commercial viability for autonomous vehicles, Stack AV’s and Aurora’s successes are still encouraging to the local AI and robotics community.

Technology hubs attract world-class investors. Pittsburgh companies have drawn the attention of leading venture capital firms, including SoftBank, New Enterprise Associates, Sequoia, Tiger Global, Kleiner Perkins and Index Ventures. Additionally, the corporate venture arms of Toyota, Ford, BMW and Samsung have all invested here. In aggregate, over 350+ venture capital firms from around the world have invested in Pittsburgh companies in the last 10 years, including 57 making their first investment in our region in 2023.

Darrell Smalley, Pittsburgh Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Darrell Smalley

Pittsburgh Office Managing Partner,
Ernst & Young LLP

Meet Darrell

Ven Raju, President and CEO, Innovation Works, Managing Director, Riverfront Ventures

Ven Raju

President & CEO,
Innovation Works
Managing Director,

Riverfront Ventures

Meet Ven

300+ firms from around the world invested in Pittsburgh companies in the last ten years.

The drivers of this growth are Pittsburgh’s world-class technical capabilities and talent, and $12b invested in university research over the past decade. Further, the ecosystem has attracted satellite offices of global companies. Collectively, this has created over $23b of exit proceeds over the past decade and makes Pittsburgh an attractive destination for global investors, talent and companies alike.

Both EY US and Innovation Works are committed to supporting entrepreneurial growth in the region. Tracking investment activity helps us begin conversations with new investors interested in regional deals, informs local investors about our strengths compared with other communities, chronicles what’s working and points to where we need to focus our efforts. We hope this report provides you with useful insights into the state of the local technology community and venture capital ecosystem and inspires new ways to move it forward.

1PitchBook-NVCA 2024 Venture Monitor

What people are saying

Click the tiles below to read quotes about the Pittsburgh investment landscape.

  • Brannon
    Venture Investor at AlleyCorp Robotics
  • Trae
    Partner at Founders Fund
  • Michael
    CEO of MAK Capital
  • Doug
    Managing Director of eLab Ventures
  • Allison
    Partner of Hyde Park Ventures
  • Joe
    Founder and CEO of Free Market Health
  • Lori
    COO of Optimus Technologies
  • Patrick
    CEO of Noveome
  • Alison
    Founder and CEO of BlastPoint
  • Brandon
    CEO of Edge AI Solutions

Pittsburgh fundraisers in 2023

  • Stack AV
  • Aurora (Road)
    (NAS: AUR)
  • Carmell
    (NAS: CTCX)
  • Gecko
  • Krystal
    (NAS: KRYS)
  • Kiavi
  • Astrobotic
  • Imagine
  • Seegrid
  • Abridge
  • Immunetrics
  • Diamond
  • ECM
  • Noveome
  • Free Market Health

Above are the top 15 fundraises by dollar amount for 2023.


The data in this report comes from a combination of the Pitchbook and private company data collected by Innovation Works, Inc. and information reported by Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh. The investment rounds tracked in these data sets were completed by companies in the Pittsburgh region from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2023. Note that changes may occur in this report from year to year due to updates in third-party databases and adjustments made to best reflect the timing of investment for rounds that have “rolling closes.” For the purpose of this report, both equity investments and convertible note investments were counted as “venture” investment. The geographic boundary of the Pittsburgh region used in this report corresponds to the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical area, as utilized by the U.S. Census Bureau. Throughout this report, the terms “deal” and “round” are used interchangeably, and refer to a single reported round of funding. Companies may complete more than one fundraising round in a single year, in which case each round is counted as a separate “deal.”

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About Innovation Works

Innovation Works, Inc. (IW) invests capital, business expertise and other resources into high-potential companies with the greatest likelihood for economic impact in the Pittsburgh region. IW is the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in this region and is one of the most active seed-stage investors in the United States. In addition to the seed fund, Innovation Works, Inc. has three nationally ranked accelerators: AlphaLab, AlphaLab Gear and AlphaLab Health. IW also manages Riverfront Ventures, LLC, an early-stage venture capital fund. Innovation Works, Inc. is an initiative of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and is partially funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

For more information, please visit