The United States venture capital industry is on course for a breakout year if the first quarter numbers are a measure of the rest of 2019.
According to a joint study by Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association, VC’s dolled out $32.6 billion in funds to 1,853 deals, a 10.5% increase in volume despite a 22.5% decrease in deals compared to first quarter 2018.
2018 was a record breaking year for VC backed deals and the continued pace in funding of startups of various stages is likely to make 2019 yet another record breaker for VC deals.
“Despite uncertainties around the sustainability of 2018’s record VC activity levels, the first quarter of 2019 bolstered healthy figures and is on track for another strong year,” said PitchBook CEO John Gabbert, in a statement. “Investors continue writing larger checks to more developed startups, allowing late-stage companies the choice of operating in either the public or private market after weighing liquidity against transparency.”
That flow of VC cash is growing in part to successful startups that have hit unicorn ($1 billion or more in valuations) status and have or are planning to file to go public, like ride hailing firm Lyft and social network Pinterest.
Lyft’s IPO along with six other VC backed deals totaled over $650 million in this past quarter. The study projects that with more outsized IPOs on the way and still more startups hitting billion dollar status, the fundraising for startups from VCs is sure to continue growing for the rest of this year.