SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development


Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley

A decade ago, billionaire entrepreneurs Peter Thiel and Elon Musk decided to take booming start-up PayPal public from a small coffee shop along Palo Alto’s University Avenue. The street, the epicenter of Silicon Valley high tech, also helped incubate such now-established giants as Facebook and Google. But today, Thiel has seemingly left the Valley behind.

The venture capital funds he runs are based 30 miles north, in a San Francisco building with views of the Golden Gate Bridge. A number of highly publicized start-ups like Twitter, Square, and Pinterest are also located in the heart of urban San Francisco. As Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey tweeted last February from his new headquarters in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood, “I love the idea of an urban corporate campus with all the energy and variety that provides.”

To what extent have clusters of venture capital and start-ups shifted from their traditional locations in suburban nerdistans to urban tech in bigger cities and denser urban districts?

Read more: The Atlantic Cities Why San Francisco May Be the New Silicon Valley

The table below ranks the ten leading  Bay Area zip codes by venture capital investment.

Top Ten Zip Codes for Venture Capital Investment in the Bay Area
Rank Zip Code Neighborhood and Features City Investment (millions)
1 94107 Portero Hill, South Beach, South Park San Francisco $1,885.8
2 94105 Rincon Hill, Embarcadero South San Francisco $693
3 94043 Suburban Mountain View, including Google headquarters Mountain View $660.5
4 94063 Centennial, Stambaugh Heller, Redwood Village, Friendly Acres Redwood City $575.2
5 94103 South of Market San Francisco 554.6
6 95054 Suburban Santa Clara, north Santa Clara $548.3
7 94065 Redwood Shores Redwood City $433.5
8 94301 Crescent Park, University South, Old Palo Alto Palo Alto $412.7
9 94085 North-central Sunnyvale Sunnyvale $389.7
10 94089 North Sunnyvale, including Lakewood, Lockheed Martin headquarters Sunnyvale $378.2