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The Huntsman family has been involved with Utah venture capital since the early 1970s when the area was synonymous with the penny stock market and stock fraud. Today, the Salt Lake City startup scene is much more cosmopolitan and diverse. It's a place where people of all backgrounds can thrive. Its diversity also allows for a diverse entrepreneurial community. Despite the state's reputation for stock fraud, many businesses are making it big.
In the past decade, Utah has become a hub of startup investment, with a thriving ecosystem. The Silicon Forest region in Portland, Oregon, is a major destination for technology companies, and is a VC hotspot. The startup ecosystem in Utah is booming, with a diverse mix of industries and a high percentage of tech and life sciences. In addition to Utah-based businesses, angel and venture capital investors are a vital part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Startups in Utah are fueled by investment capital. While it may seem like a small place for a tech startup, the state has attracted many Silicon Valley VCs. Salesforce, Instructure, and Domo all drew the attention of Marc Benioff and Andreessen Horowitz, who reportedly invested in the company. In addition, there are numerous mega-deals in the fintech and other sectors. As of this writing, VCs have invested $3.4 billion in Utah companies this year, and plans to double that figure by 2020.
Investing in Utah has brought a number of successes to the state. In 2014, the business software provider Domo was spun out of SAP and went public. In January of this year, it raised $165 million in a venture fund, putting Utah in sixth place nationally. The investment in Qualtrics puts Utah in the Silicon Forest, a region in Portland, Oregon. In 2017, a similar trend has been observed in the Silicon Valley region of Oregon.
While some Utah startups may be deemed too early for venture capital, their success has been crucial for the state's startup ecosystem. These companies have raised money from various sources, including banks and angel investors. The growth of these Utah startups has been facilitated by venture capital funds. In fact, the number of such investments in the state has increased exponentially in the past three years. These VC firms have invested in more than 165 companies in Utah, bringing more than $700 million in investments.
The state's venture capital scene has flourished in recent years. Its growth has attracted Silicon Valley VCs such as Marc Benioff, Andreessen Horowitz, and Benchmark Capital. Recently, several companies have received massive investments from Utah-based VCs, including Domo and Instructure. In the last decade, Utah has grown at a rapid pace, with the emergence of angel groups and mega-deals in fintech and other industries.