MoneyTree™ News

Start adding items to your reading lists:
Save this item to:
This item has been saved to your reading list.

Record $100M+ Deal High Drives Funding Increase to US VC-Backed Companies By 17%, According to the PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree Report


16 US and 13 Asian Companies Reached Unicorn Status in Q3

Asia Funding Drops Off, Decreasing 11%

NEW YORK, October 9, 2018 – During the third quarter of 2018, VC-backed companies based in the United States saw a 17% increase in funding, bringing up the total dollar amount invested to $28B, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and CB Insights.

Globally, Q3’18 generated record levels of mega round activity of $100M or more, birthing 16 new unicorns in the United States and 13 in Asia. Specifically, US private companies raised 6 $500M+ and 55 $100M+ VC rounds, the most of any quarter on record.

“This quarter approached quarterly funding records, with $27.5B invested in VC-backed startups and 55 mega-rounds. On the other hand, VC-backed deal volume is down to a level unseen since Q4 of 2012. As early-stage startups wonder if there are adequate funds available, the overall deal volume (1,229) still reflects a healthy startup ecosystem.”

Tom Ciccolella, US Venture Capital Leader at PwC

Regionally, in the United States, New York spiked up after multiple flat quarters, rising 110% in Q3’18 to $5.8B, compared to $2.7B in Q2’18. However, San Francisco continued to take the lead in terms of deal share, generating $7.9B across 229 deals. Similarly, Silicon Valley (South Bay) saw an increase in funding by 24% compared to Q2’18, hitting $4.8B in Q3’18.

Global funding activity increased slightly during Q3’18, increasing by 2% to $53.1B across 3,408 deals. Notably, funding to Asian companies dropped by 11% to $19.3B in Q3’18, amid rising VC funding globally. Early-stage deal sizes declined across all regions, as later-stage funding drove funding to record levels. During this quarter, later-stage deal size for Asian companies rose for the second quarter in a row to $100M.

“The unicorn birth rate picked up in Q3’18 with 16 US startups and 13 Asian companies seeing valuations rise above $1 billion dollars. Mega-rounds (those over $100M) also reached record levels in the US as money rushed into mid- and later-stage companies,” said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights. “The casualty of this rush has been the seed stage, which saw a global decline. The migration out of seed won't be felt now, but it will have impacts on the venture ecosystem in the coming years."

Key Q3 2018 highlights:

  • Deal activity in the US declined for the first time since Q4’17, dropping from 1,501 in Q2’18 to 1,229 in Q3’18. Seed-stage deals to US-based companies also dropped from 26% in Q2’18 to 18% in Q3’18, the lowest in several quarters. Median later-stage deal size decreased to $34M in Q3’18, down from $42M in Q2’18.
  • However, US-based companies saw a massive quarter for mega-rounds, recording 55 rounds of $100M+ and 6 $500M+ rounds, the most of any quarter on record. This drove up the overall dollars to VC-backed companies by 17% in Q3’18 over the previous quarter.
  • Late-stage, US-based unicorns continue to raise massive deals. WeWork, Uber, and Peloton all raised $500M+ rounds in Q3’18.
  • 16 US-based companies reached $1B+ in valuation in Q3’18, compared to 7 in Q2’18. New companies achieving a valuation of $1B or more included Lime, LegalZoom, and GitLab.
  • Investment deals and dollars increased significantly for Agriculture Tech companies, jumping up to $508M in Q3’18 after remaining in the $100M range for several quarters. This was due to Indigo Agriculture’s $250M round, accounting for nearly half of ag tech funding in Q3’18.
  • Auto tech funding in the US increased for the first time after several flat quarters. $1.9B was invested across 21 deals in Q3’18, compared to $56M across 13 deals in Q2’18. The funding jump was driven by a $1B investment in Lucid Motors and Zoox’s $500M investment.
  • Globally, $53B was invested across 3,408 deals, a 2% increase in funding amid declining deal activity and a drop in Asia funding. Contrary to the previous quarter, Asia saw a decline in funding, dropping 11% to $19.3B in Q3’18. Deal activity in Asia remained flat at 1,359 deals.
  • Mega-rounds continued to rise significantly in North America and Asia, as both regions saw $100M+ deals hit record quarterly highs, with 55 and 48 deals respectively. New unicorn births also jumped in both regions, to 16 new companies valued at $1B or more in North America and 13 in Asia.
  • Driven by late-stage funding from companies like WeWork, Peloton, and letgo, investment into New York-based startups jumped by 110% to $5.9 in Q3’18. San Francisco (N. Bay) funding also increased by 35% in Q3’18, with $8B invested, despite a sharp decline of 20% in deal activity to 229 transactions. Similarly, Silicon Valley (S. Bay) funding increased by 24% to $4.8B, but deal activity decreased by 28%.
  • After a four-quarter increase, New England saw a drop in funding by 18% in Q3’18, with $2.4B invested across 128 deals. Funding and deal activity in LA and Orange County also declined for the second straight quarter, as investment dropped 53% to $825M.

MoneyTree Report results are available online at

CB Insights research can be found online here.


About PwC US

At PwC US, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at

©2018 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

About CB Insights

CB Insights is a Pilot Growth and National Science Foundation backed software-as-a-service company that uses data science, machine learning and predictive analytics to help our customers predict what’s next—their next investment, the next market they should attack, the next move of their competitor, their next customer, or the next company they should acquire. The world’s leading global corporations including the likes of Cisco, Salesforce, Castrol and Gartner as well as top-tier VCs including NEA, Upfront Ventures, RRE, and FirstMark Capital rely on CB Insights to make decisions based on data, not decibels.

Contact us

Carey Bodenheimer
Industrial Products (Auto, Manufacturing, Mobility, Engineering & Construction, Aerospace & Defense) Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Portland, PwC US
Tel: +1 (213) 392 9684

Follow us