venture capital

Software Deals Drive Venture Capital Surge to Dot Com Era Levels

Venture capital (VC) firms invested more than $17 billion in 1,189 deals in the second quarter of 2015, the highest level of activity since 2000, according to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Megadeals (deals greater than $100 million) in the software sector drove much of the growth, with 26 deals such deals, including one that exceeded $1 billion. With $7.3 billion in investments, software deals in the second quarter exceeded total investment across all sectors in 51 of the last 82 quarters. The industry is on track to surpass the $50 million invested last year. Read the NVCA/PWC release…

Venture Investors Flock to Silicon Valley Biotech

Biotech is in the midst of an investment boom, at least in Silicon Valley. In the first quarter of this year, biotech firms in the region raised $574 million, the third highest quarter on record, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and reporting by the San Jose Mercury News. This peak represents a 103 percent increase over the same quarter the previous year. Nationwide, the sector is poised to attract a record-setting $7 billion this year, according to Bloomberg Business. However, Silicon Valley's biotech boom is less apparent in other parts of the country.

SBA: Venture Investments Grown More Than 150 Percent Since 2010

This may be one of the best environments for tech companies to receive funding since the extreme financing figures recorded during the tech boom in 2000, according to a new Small Business Administration (SBA) factsheet. In Q1 of 2015, venture capital (VC) investments totaled $13.4 billion making it the fifth straight quarter to see over $10 billion in VC investments. This trend is part of a sizeable post-recessionary rebound in VC evidencing major growth – VC investments have grown by more than 150% over the last five years. However, this increased VC activity is not benefiting many early stage startups because VCs are shifting away from funding startups as they are just developing. Most VCs are making targeted investments in more mature tech companies in order to potentially jump in before companies go public. The result of this trend of late stage investment by VCs has caused a reduction in the availability of risk capital for promising startups. Read the factsheet…

New Initiative Intended to Support the Growth of Startup Capital in Kansas City Region

Kansas City is leaving millions of dollars on the table, funding that could fuel early-stage startups that are the key to creating jobs and economic growth, according to a new report from KCSourceLink and its partners. The report will serve as a roadmap to a new capital initiative led by the Kauffman Foundation; several regional economic and community development organizations; and, other stakeholders in the Kansas City metro region. The new initiative – We Create Capital – aims to increase the availability of microfinance, angel, seed stage, and venture capital for startups by creating better connections between investors, attracting venture capital to the region, and cultivating a deeper talent pool of people to manage venture capital funds. The plan also calls for increasing awareness about available startup funding sources including federal, state, local, and private sources. Read the strategy...

More Women Than Ever Seek Startup Capital, But Barriers Remain

In 2009, only 9.5 percent of venture-backed startups had a female founder, according to a research by CrunchBase. By 2014, that figure had almost doubled, reaching 18 percent. During that period, the absolute number of companies with a female founder quadrupled. More women are also seeking early stage funds. The University of New Hampshire's Center for Venture Research (CVR) reports that more than a third of entrepreneurs seeking angel capital in 2014 were women. Despite this progress, women entrepreneurs remain underrepresented in high-tech entrepreneurship. A recent academic article found that women often have to rely on their technical resumes and personal referrals to overcome the biases of investors.

Venture-Backed Exits Fall to Two-Year Low

Only 17 companies had initial public offerings (IPOs) in the first quarter of 2015, the lowest number since the beginning of 2013, according to data from Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). This is a significant drop from the 37 IPO exits in the first quarter of 2014. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) were also down, with 86 exits, compared to 115 in Q1 2014. While 2014 was an unusually active time for venture-backed exits, the current data appears to be a return to recession-era levels of deals and disclosed values.

UK Government, Pharma Companies Launch $100M Alzheimer’s Disease Venture Fund

In partnership with several major pharmaceutical companies, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Secretary of Health Jeremy Hunt announced the creation of the $100 million Dementia Discovery Fund. The UK government-led venture fund will support innovative research across the globe to help find new ways to prevent and treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Private sector partners that already have agreed to invest in the project include Biogen, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly and Pfizer. One of the UK’s largest Alzheimer’s-focused foundations, Alzheimer’s Research UK, also will commit funding to support the development pioneering new drugs to treat the condition. Read the press release…

Useful Stats: Share of U.S. Venture Capital Investment by State, 2009-2014

California-based companies received about 56 percent of all U.S. venture capital dollars in 2014, the state's highest share of venture activity since the dot com boom of the early 2000s. Over the past 15 years, investment activity has steadily become more concentrated in California and a few other states. In 2009, about 67 percent of all deals and 74 percent of venture capital dollars flowed to the top five states. By 2014, those states' share of venture dollars grew to 80 percent, according to NVCA/Pricewaterhouse Coopers data. A recent Harvard Business Review article, however, suggests that startups are receiving first-round funding in more metropolitan areas than ever.

Is There a Crisis in Seed Stage Venture Capital?

The first wave of year-end 2014 data on U.S. venture investment painted a portrait of a resurgent capital market. Investment activity reached its highest level of activity in a decade, finally shaking off the stagnation of the Great Recession (see last week’s article). Within the data, however, there were some concerning trends. The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)/National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Moneytree data indicated that while later-stage investments and megadeals drove the 61 percent one-year increase in total VC dollars, seed stage dollars fell by 29 percent.

Useful Stats: Venture Capital Investment Dollars, Deals by State, 2009-2014

U.S. venture capital investment hit $48.3 billion in 2014, its highest level since 2000, according to data from the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Investments jumped 61 percent over the previous year in terms of dollars. Deals were up as well, but by a more modest 4 percent to 4,356 deals in 2014, indicating the growth of deal size and the presence of a number of “megadeals.” NVCA also noted that investments were dispersed throughout the country, with 160 U.S. metros receiving some venture capital.


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