With $57.5B invested so far in 2018, VC funding for U.S. startups reaching ‘unprecedented levels’


A Lime scooter in Seattle. The company has raised nearly $500 million in one year. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

The amount of venture capital funding pouring into U.S. startups is on pace to reach levels unseen since the early 2000s.

The latest PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor report shows $57.5 billion invested across 3,997 deals for U.S. venture-backed companies thus far in 2018. The most recent quarter was the fifth consecutive with more than $20 billion invested.

“To say capital availability is high would be putting the true state of the U.S. VC industry lightly,” the report notes.

This follows a record 2017, when venture deal value surpassed $80 billion for the first time since the dot-com era. Pitchbook CEO John Gabbert said the “the sheer amount of capital available across the entire venture landscape is reaching unprecedented levels.”

“Once startups are able to produce solid business metrics and establish a business model capable of scaling quickly, they see high demand from venture investors looking to put their capital to work,” Gabbert said in a statement. “I expect to see continued momentum in the venture industry, especially with an improving exit market, as GPs will be able to consistently generate strong returns.”

There were 94 deals of more than $100 million in the first half of 2018, accounting for 40 percent of total deal value, as a “new normal” trend continues of capital going to fewer, larger deals.

The report shows much of the increased capital going to later-stage companies and unicorns — companies valued at more than $1 billion — which are on pace for a record year with 42 deals so far in 2018 and $11.8 billion invested. The report specifically called out electric scooter company Bird, which became the fastest to reach unicorn status when the year-old startup raised its fourth round last month at a valuation of $2 billion. Another scooter startup, Lime, has raised more than $450 million in less than a year.

Angel and seed-stage financing rounds are also seeing higher deal sizes, in part due to the emergence of “pre-seed” rounds, the report noted. Median angel and seed valuations are up from $1.9 million in 2007 to $7 million in 2018 as a result of companies raising their first round of venture capital later on in their lifecycle.

Exit activity is on pace to match results from last year, with 419 venture-backed exits totaling $28.7 billion thus far in 2018. Flatiron ($1.9 …read more

Source:: GeekWire

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