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Venture Capital: Can you Spot the “Unicorn”?


After an impressive first quarter of this year, venture capital (VC) funding in the second quarter of 2015 is continuing on this notable trend with VC dollars invested in startups surpassing $10 billion for the sixth consecutive quarter.

 The Q2 2015 MoneyTree™ Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data from Thomson Reuters, found that there was $17.5 billion invested in 1,189 deals – a 30 percent increase in dollars and a 12 percent increase in deals, when compared to the previous quarter.

 With nearly $31 billion invested by VCs in the first half of the year alone, 2015 is expected to reach levels of venture capital investment not seen since 2000, as companies with strong fundamentals and global footprints continue to receive funding. In fact, the total dollars invested so far this year is more than the total dollars invested for each year 2002-2012 (not including 2007, which squeaked by with $32 billion).

 Another bright spot for the quarter were the 26 megadeals (worth $100 million or more each), including a single deal worth $1.5 billion, adding another unicorn (companies with a valuation of more than $1 billion) to the exclusive club. Since 2005, there have only been three companies counting unicorn-level deals, among more than 40,000 total deals, making the odds of capturing such a valuation equal to actually spotting a unicorn in Silicon Valley.

 In looking at industry trends, Software captured the highest quarterly investment total since the MoneyTree Report began tracking in 1995, with $7.3 billion flowing into 491 deals, representing 42% of total VC investments for the quarter. Another industry that saw record investments was Biotech, with $2.3 billion going into 126 deals.

 All in all, the venture picture for the rest of 2015 is bright – and if you look close, you might even spot a unicorn or two.

Posted on July 31, 2015

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