Venture capital hits record high in US in 2020 amid pandemic

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Venture capital backed companies in the United States raised nearly $130 billion last year, setting a record despite the COVID-19 pandemic, figures from data firm CB Insight released on Friday show.

While the investment total is up 14% from 2019, the number of deals is down 9% to 6,022. And so-called mega-rounds, deals that are $100 million or higher also hit a record amount and number with $63 billion raised in 318 deals.

“What we’re seeing is a ‘rich get richer’ phenomenon where successful, high momentum technology companies are vacuuming up most of the financing,” CB Insights chief executive Anand Sanwal told Reuters by email.

He said that data showed a big drop in a very early stage investment called seed stage, and expected some of those companies that stand out to see “insatiable investor demand” with fewer competitors for the money.

The trend of big investments doesn’t look like it will slow in 2021 as there is a lot of capital chasing investments, say some venture capitalists.

Already on Thursday Quantum Metric, a startup that provides customer analytics and improvement tools for online businesses, said it raised $200 million in its latest financing round, which values the firm at more than $1 billion.

In 2020, many of the mega rounds were raised by tech companies that got a boost from COVID-19, which drove up remote work and e-commerce.

Capital tends to follow categories that have a lot of legs. And I think right now you’re seeing a lot of conviction behind categories and companies that are riding un-doubtable trends,” said Arun Mathew a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel, an early investor in Facebook.

“I think it’s pretty safe to say 2021 is going to be a banner year for many tech companies,” Mathew said.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.