VC continues strong investment in first quarter

April 11, 2019

The trend of fewer, larger deals that emerged over the past few years continued through the first quarter of 2019, according to newly released data from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. U.S. activity in the quarter included $32.6 billion of capital investment on 1,853 deals, making it the second-highest quarterly capital investment total in the last decade. The latest edition of Venture Monitor also features a new dataset on investment in female-founded companies, which accounted for 2.2 percent of total VC deal value and 5.5 percent of total VC deal count in the first quarter. The report notes that foreign investment and immigration are two major policy issues that will be critical to how 2019 shapes up.

While deal count is down in general, angel and seed stage deal count has faced the greatest decline, which the report notes is in part because startups face steeper expectations for maturity from investors even at that stage, leaving capital being concentrated in fewer but more developed startups. The report also shows that life sciences deal count is off last year’s pace, but ticks higher as a percent of total deals.

Globally, Crunchbase is projecting that venture capital invested $75 billion in almost 8,100 funding rounds in Q1 2019, which is down from the highs set in Q4 of 2018. Seed-stage investments are up approximately 17 percent globally from 2018 Q1, although, like PitchBook, Crunchbase also measured a decline in North American seed investment (-10 percent versus 2018 Q1). Crunchbase notes that data shows a weakening market for Chinese startup equity as a contributor to the decline.

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