The last 12 months have truly been a remarkable time for Colorado tech companies. Since August 1st, 2014 tech startups have received just shy of a billion dollars in capital — a huge vote of confidence and promise of a bright future in Colorado’s thriving startup community.
Although today’s tech worker can work from a laptop anywhere in the world, tech startups are still disproportionately found in just a few neighborhoods. It’ll come as no surprise that the vast majority of that billion dollars in funding flowed into just a few zip codes, making up a tiny portion of the state.
A thriving downtown Denver, bolstered by an unprecedented inward migration of young and educated people, propelled 80202 to lead the state in fundings. Tech companies located in just that one downtown Denver zip code took in over $350 million. Notably, Layer3 TV, whose product remains cloaked in secrecy, took in $51 million in a second round of funding in June. Their neighbors, Welltok, Craftsy, and Ping Identity, also boasted impressive funding rounds this year.
Just north of downtown, in 80205, the area that comprises the booming arts and nightlife area of RiNo, was Denver’s second best funded neighborhood. This recently renovated area took in $15 million in funding, with notable recipients including HANDLL, Levels Beyond and Photobucket. The neighborhood continues to mature, and is likely to attract more tech companies in the future.
Companies located in the traditional hub of startup activity in the state, Boulder, also took in their share of capital. The two zip codes that comprise much of Boulder and the surrounding area brought in a combined $270 million. Just three Boulder-based companies, Solidfire, Alteryx and Sphero took the lion’s share, at $187 million.
Interestingly, since their funding, both SolidFire and Alteryx have since announced their intentions to move — and in very different directions.
Solidfire announced this week their plans to move to a larger office in central Boulder. The move allows the company to expand its workforce by 150, while continuing to use a central Boulder location as a magnet to attract talent. Alteryx, which also plans on expanding its workforce on a massive scale, has since moved into new offices in Broomfield. Their move was, at least in part, a play to tap into Denver’s talent market, while remaining close to their Boulder roots.
As companies around the state jockey for funding, it's worth taking note of the successes of companies in these limited areas of downtown Denver and central Boulder. When we do this analysis next year, it’ll be interesting to see how this landscape continues to evolve.
Which zip codes will be the best funded next year? If we had to guess, we’d expect central Denver and Boulder to continue to thrive, with particular growth in the area just north of downtown Denver (80205). In addition, we expect the zip codes comprising the land along US 36, which connects Denver and Boulder, to see more mature, later-stage companies moving in to take advantage of both labor pools and cheaper office space. Only time will tell.