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Dashboard: Fundraising continues to tumble, as SoftBank’s oversized WeWork investment lifts deals

The dog days of summer continued to bark their way through the slow months of the year. Venture activity, which had taken a step back in July, took more time off in August.

The August fundraising total was the lowest monthly amount raised by U.S. venture firms since October 2015, when 18 firms raised $868.5 million.

Deal activity was also notably slow compared with earlier months in the year, but that’s not apparent on first glance. If not for SoftBank Group’s multi-billion investment in WeWork, the August deal investing total would have ranked just as meager as that of July.

The stats below are based on preliminary data from Thomson Reuters.

Fundraising (value down 52%)

A total of 16 U.S. firms collectively raised a bit more than $512 million in August, a 52 percent drop in dollars from the month before, when 13 firms raised a little more than $1.1 billion in commitments. The largest fundraiser was ClearSky Power & Technology, a North Palm Beach, Florida, venture and growth capital investor. It raised $168 million toward its $300 million debut fund. And HighBAR Ventures of Palo Alto, California, raised about $76 million for its third early-stage fund, which is targeted at $250 million.

Deals (value up 120%)

A total of 283 U.S.-based companies raised more than $8.8 billion in August, compared with 266 deals raising slightly more than $4 billion in July, a 120 percent rise. The deal activity was led, however, by co-working and office-space company WeWork, which raised $4.9 billion from SoftBank Group and Hony Capital Beijing. That venture deal is the largest year-to-date across all sectors.

M&A (value up more than 4100%)

Disclosed M&A activity was modest in August, but it showed a big jump from nonexistent in July. A total of 22 VC-backed companies were acquired in August, with six disclosing transaction prices for a combined deal value of $1.9 billion, compared with 19 venture-backed companies sold in July, including just one disclosed for $45 million. The August M&A exits included, among others, Sage Group buying Sage Intacct, Cisco acquiring Viptela, and Blackhawk Network scooping up CashStar.

IPOs (value down 59%)

One VC-backed company went public on a U.S. exchange in August, compared with three in July. The value of the IPOs dropped more than 59 percent to $120 million from $294 million in July. Montréal biopharmaceutical company Clementia Pharmaceuticals was the sole IPO last month. It raised about $120 million from its IPO on the Nasdaq. It previously raised about $102 million from such investors as BDC Capital Healthcare Fund (an investor in Clementia since 2012), Fonds de solidarité FTQJanus HendersonOrbiMed Advisors and New Enterprise Associates.

Source: Thomson Reuters

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