Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Skyline. (Photo by Flickr user 1FlatWorld, used via a Creative Commons license)

As winter melted into spring and the nation’s memories of last year’s abnormally strong market morphed into fears of this year’s anticipated sharp correction, the VC economy of Maryland’s biggest city and its surrounding metro grew both more generous and choosier with its generosity.

This picture comes from the figures in PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association’s (NVCA) new Q2 2022 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, which hit the public stage on Thursday. Taken together, the Venture Monitor showcases a national VC market left at least somewhat shaken by recession fears. For Baltimore and its metropolitan statistical area, though, that fear has not yet turned market interest into VC conservatism.

The national VC outlook

The latest report’s impression of 2022’s generally robust first six months contrasts with the drops in deal value across all stages. For instance, investors participated in fewer mega-rounds, or rounds worth over $100 million, while fewer companies chose to go public via IPOs or SPAC mergers. Early-stage investments felt these changes less harshly, given their distance from the comparatively chaotic public market.

About $16 billion was invested into nearly 1,340 deals during Q2. This deal value falls below the 2021 quarterly records while surpassing pre-pandemic levels; the Venture Monitor said this development indicated that 2021’s “exponential growth” is “returning to a more modest annual trend such as we experienced in 2020.” The report also highlighted nearly $290 billion in available dry powder, or cash and liquid assets to be distributed as necessary, which it said “smooths the steepness of deal activity decline.”