Global venture-backed companies raised 53 percent more money in the second quarter of 2017 than in the first quarter, according to the MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and CB Insights.
The worldwide startups raised $42.9 billion in the second quarter, compared to $28 billion in the first quarter, the report said. In the U.S., investors put $18.4 billion into startups, up 28 percent from the prior quarter. The number of U.S. companies that raised money was 1,152, down 4 percent from the first quarter.
The funding activity was driven by a strong surge in mega-rounds of $100 million or more, including a $600 million round for ride-sharing company Lyft. There were 31 deals above $100 million in the second quarter, the most since the peak of 36 in the third quarter of 2015.
“Q2 was a tale of two trends. U.S. deal activity continued its multi-quarter downward trend, but the growth rate of investments in dollar terms accelerated from the first quarter. A surge in mega-round deals, to the second highest level seen to date, helped drive a robust level of quarterly VC funding,” said Tom Ciccolella, US Venture Capital Leader at PwC, in a statement.
Regional deal activity was down from Q1 2017 across most major regional hubs, with the exception of Los Angeles/Orange County, which saw both deals and dollars rise for the second consecutive quarter. Although deal activity was down across both New York Metro and Silicon Valley, both regions saw eight-quarter quarterly funding highs amid prominent mega-round financings.
Globally, deals were up 2 percent from Q1 2017 to a total of 2,439, but funding spiked 53 percent to an 8-quarter high of $42.9 billion, surpassing the previous high of $40.6 billion seen in Q3 2015. Asia saw total funding buoyed by several massive financings, with its five largest deals accounting for over $10 billion dollars. Europe also saw quarterly funding achieve an 8-quarter high of $4.4 billion.
“The buzz around existing and new unicorns was back with mega-rounds jumping significantly. As a result of these financings, the quarterly funding tally looked quite strong,” said Anand Sanwal, cofounder and CEO of CB Insights, in a statement. “But Q2 also illustrated that deal activity has settled into a new, lower normal after declining through most of 2016 driven by weaker early stage activity. While we have seen a handful of larger acquisitions and IPOs in 2017, the exit environment’s health will be a key driver of whether deal activity resumes.”
U.S. mega-round activity is up significantly from the eight-quarter low of 13 recorded in Q4 2016. Amid this activity, median later-stage deal size also jumped near the record highs of Q3 2015, rising 53% to $33 million.
Nine new VC-backed companies in the U.S. received valuations of $1 billion or more in Q2 2017, up from just three in Q1 2017 and also marking the highest quarterly total since the frothy days of Q3 2015. That means there were nine new unicorns in the market.
But that compares to 16 unicorns birthed in Q3 2015.
Corporations and corporate VCs have remained active in the U.S. even as overall deal activity has slowed, with corporate investors participating in 26% of all US deals in Q2 2017.
U.S. digital health financing saw a strong quarter, with deals rising 38 percent to 113 and total dollar funding jumping 63 percent to $2.7 billion.
Mega-rounds also trended upward globally, as Asia also saw its highest quarterly mega-round total since Q3 2015 with 27 deals of $100 million or more.