North America’s Record 21 Unicorn Births Surpassed Asia for Most New Unicorns for Second Straight Quarter
NEW YORK, January 7, 2019 – This year saw the highest annual funding level since 2000, as venture capital-backed companies based in the United States raised $99.5B across 5,536 transactions, the lowest level of deal activity since 2013, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and CB Insights.
Amid falling deal activity, US companies still raised a record-number of mega-rounds in 2018, with 184 $100M+ funding rounds. There was also a record number of new unicorns this year as 53 US VC-backed companies saw their valuation rise to over $1B.
Global VC funding also came close to the 2000 funding record as it jumped 21% compared to 2017. $207B of VC funding was raised globally across 14,247 transactions, a 10% increase in deal activity.
"2018 was a phenomenal year for US venture capital, with $99.5B invested --- a record-breaking 55 unicorn births, 184 mega-rounds, and funding levels at their highest since 2000 ($119.6B). There certainly continues to be a healthy availability of funds and appetite for investment, while the trend of fewer, bigger deals persists."
Regionally, in the United States, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, New England and Los Angeles all saw increases in funding levels this year. In San Francisco, funding jumped 55%, rising to $28B. New England funding activity increased for the second straight year, to $11B in 2018. Silicon Valley and New York saw an uptick funding in 2018, increasing to $18B and $13B, respectively. Funding for Los Angeles-area companies were also up slightly at $6B.
“While this year saw the lowest level of deals since 2013, median deal sizes are up and $100M+ mega-deals are becoming standard," said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights. "US companies raised a record 184 mega-rounds, a 53% increase compared to last year's record. While mid- and late-stage startups are winners in the current environment, the early stage is getting pinched with seed activity. There doesn't appear to be a near-term catalyst to get seed activity growing again."
Key Q3 2018 highlights:
MoneyTree Report results are available online at pwc.com/us/en/industries/technology/moneytree.
CB Insights research can be found online here.
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