Following a record 2018, venture capital activity in the U.S. is off to a robust start in 2019 as 1,026 deals were completed in Q1 2019 for an aggregate $28 billion, up from $19.4 billion in Q1 2018. Continuing the trend of mega-rounds, the top five deals of the quarter accounted for $6.2 billion or 22% of the total amount of venture capital invested.
Some of this quarter’s highlights include:
- Early-stage investments (Series A and earlier) accounted for 49% of venture capital deals in Q1 2019 and 20% of capital invested, and Series B investments accounted for 23% of capital invested. Software was the most active industry for U.S.-based venture capital investment, representing 36% of deals and 28% of deal value.
- As of the end of Q1 2019, there were 129 exits valued at an aggregate $17.7 billion, led by exits for Lyft, Auris Health and SendGrid. Ten venture-backed companies went public in Q1 2019, and with the IPO window appearing open, many more venture-backed companies are expected to file in 2019.
- A record 405 U.S.-based venture capital funds closed in 2018, raising $46 billion. Based on Q1 2019’s fundraising statistics, 2019 is expected to be an equally strong year, with 96 funds bringing in an aggregate $12 billion so far.
- In the first quarter of 2019 alone, 64 micro venture capital funds held a final close, surpassing the total number of micro venture capital funds raised in 2009. In 2018, 63% of the micro funds closed had managers with prior institutional investing experience, and in Q1 2019 that figure is up to 72%.
- The 10 largest U.S.-based venture capital fund managers have raised $73 billion over the past 10 years. Although the top 10 U.S. fund managers cover a range of investment stages, only Sequoia Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners have seed stage-focused funds.