Highest Number of US Unicorns and Aggregate Unicorn Valuation in Q1 2019
NEW YORK, April 9, 2019 – After 2018 saw the highest annual funding level since 2000, quarterly funding fell 36% this quarter as venture capital-backed companies based in the United States raised $25B across 1,279 transactions, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and CB Insights.
US VC deal activity declined for the third consecutive quarter with over 4% fewer deals compared to Q4 2018. US mega-rounds was also down from a record Q4, but still above historical levels as US private companies raised 46 $100M+ rounds in Q1’19.
Global VC funding and deal activity also fell this quarter as funding fell by 22% to $52B and deal activity fell by 5% to 3,327 transactions. Both funding and deal activity in North America and Asia decreased compared to Q4’18. However, European funding jumped by 48% to $8B amid a 4% drop in deal activity to 724 transactions.
“Over the past three quarters, we’ve seen the number of deals moderate down, while the total amount invested stays relatively consistent. The prevalence of mega deals - characterized as rounds greater than $100 million - continues to shape the VC landscape.”
Regionally, New York funding doubled to $4B this quarter while California-based companies saw funding fall 53%, from $28B in Q4’18 to $13B in Q1’19. New York deal activity also jumped, up 23% to 201 transactions in Q1’19, from 164 transactions in Q4’18. Deals declined in California and Massachusetts.
"US venture capital-backed companies saw its first decline in both deals and dollars in a long time. For funding, it was the first material decline since Q3'16 and for deals, it was the third straight quarter decrease," said Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights. "Investors are shifting away from the earliest and riskiest bets with US seed-stage deal share declining to 24% of all deals vs 30% just a year ago. Mega-rounds, which have buoyed funding levels, were also down this quarter although there still is plenty of money for mid- to later-stage companies."
Key Q1 2019 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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