venture capital

VC funding tops $70B for second time, 2017 MoneyTree Report

In this first part of a two-part series, SSTI will look at the common themes and trends of 2017 that were highlighted in the 2017 MoneyTree Report. In part two, SSTI will provide insights on some potential new trends observed last year that may continue to affect the investment of venture capital in 2018.

The U.S. venture capital industry’s annual funding topped $70 billion in 2017 for the second time ever, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and CB Insights' 2017 MoneyTree Report. The $71.9 billion invested marked a 6.8 percent increase from 2016 — the record high-water mark of $76.8 billion was achieved in 2015.  

VC-backed startups help support vibrant innovation ecosystems, research finds

Venture-backed startups generate nine times the knowledge spillovers (e.g., patenting activity and citations) when compared to that produced by R&D investment of established companies, according to recent research. In Measuring the Spillovers of Venture Capital, researchers from the University of Munich found that, on average, two-thirds of this increase can be traced to more patenting by other companies within the VC-backed company’s spillover pool (e.g., companies with geographic or industry proximity). The companies that most benefited from the knowledge spillover were large, established companies.

Are VC funds inflating a bubble?

Through the third quarter of 2017, the venture capital market saw an average deal that invested more money into larger and older companies than in prior years. With fewer exits and deals occurring throughout the industry — as well as a historic $90+ billion in uninvested capital (aka “dry powder”) — a reasonable expectation might be that funds would have a difficult time raising capital. In fact, fund raising, while likely to finish behind 2016, is set for another straight year with greater than $30 billion raised, and this money is going into more funds with an overall increasing fund size.

Latest VC reports continue 2017’s Rorschach test

Two 2017 Q3 venture capital market updates are not providing much clarity on the underlying state of the industry. Data on greater uninvested capital, larger deals and fewer exits, among other indicators, suggest that venture capital is in need of a market correction. At the same time, new fundraising, a move toward wider geographic distribution and the rise of alternative financial structures could speak toward the emergence of a more sophisticated market. In the absence of decisive indicators, the data allow for any number of explanations and predictions. This week, we are exploring the deals data, and next week, we will look at funds.

While U.S. Startups Barometer remains bullish on VC market, concerns exist about startup pipeline

Bloomberg’s U.S. Startups Barometer for August 21, 2017 highlights an environment ripe for startups to attract venture capital (VC). The weekly index tracks the overall health of the business environment for private technology companies based in the U.S. Driven by the number of VC financing deals, the barometer set a new record high for the second consecutive week with a nearly 65 percent increase from last year’s index score.

SSBCI VC investments attracted $12:1 private financing, local partners

The U.S. Department of Treasury released its final annual report for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which provided funding to states for lending and investment programs. “Venture capital” programs, often structured for pre-seed (13 percent of funds), seed (27 percent) or early stage (45 percent) investments, attracted $4.2 billion in immediate private financing against $327 million in federal dollars. This leverage of $12.76 of private investment for every public dollar was further improved by more than $2 billion in subsequent private financing to date. Perhaps more significant than the program’s ability to attract private investors has been its success in generating investments outside of the nation’s most concentrated markets.

31 Mega-rounds, strong fundraising drive VC industry in Q2 of 2017

As we enter the second half of 2017, the U.S. venture capital (VC) market is driven by several noticeable trends. After peaking in 2015, the current VC market continues its slow decline in the number of deals, but Q2 of 2017 saw a spike in mega-rounds – rounds of $100 million or more. These mega-rounds are accompanied by strong fundraising efforts including a record-setting mega fund launch. 

Regionally focused investors yielding more than ROI

An SSTI analysis of exits occurring during the second quarter by a number of venture development organizations reveals equity investment in innovation companies undertaken as strategic public-private partnerships for regional growth can yield more for their communities than just hitting the return on investment expectations of seed and traditional venture capital. The recent exits highlighted below reveal a variety of economic development impacts resulting from effective innovation investment strategies, including:

  • Increased competitiveness and growth of local firms through mergers and acquisition;
  • New market entry and new product lines for existing manufacturers;
  • Opportunities to broaden wealth generation among wider population;
  • Foreign direct investment and company relocation; and of course,
  • Wealth generation, tax revenues and job growth within the local community.

Note: this is SSTI’s second look at recent VDO exits; selected first quarter 2017 exits for VDOs are available here.  Second quarter highlights include:

Useful Stats: Contraction of VC investing continues

The number of companies receiving venture capital investments during the first quarter of 2017 dropped 24 percent compared to a year ago, according to the latest NVCA-Pitchbook Venture Capital Monitor, released Tuesday.  Venture capitalists also parted with 12 percent less money during the quarter, suggesting to the report’s authors that 2017 is on pace to compare to 2013 levels.

Recent exits by VDOs nurturing innovation cycles

Billion dollar acquisitions and IPOs of young startups capture a lot of media attention, but they are not the norm for the market by any means. Exits do not need to be measured in the billions of dollars to have significant economic development benefit for the states and regions that make sustained investments into startup innovation firms. An SSTI analysis of the Pitchbook and Crunchbase investment databases reveals a number of recent exits by venture development organizations (VDOs) that may provide funding to re-invest in even more innovation-based startups in their regions.  Our analysis reveals that many of the acquired companies appear to be maintaining their local operations as they use the acquisition funds to scale.  Several examples from the past quarter alone demonstrate the value of the VDO approach to supporting regional prosperity.


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