Data spotlight: Venture-backed M&A lags 2016 in first half of 2017

Mergers and acquisitions of U.S.-based venture-backed companies in the first half of 2017 lagged behind the same period in 2016, in both the number of exits and and their overall value.

The first two quarters of 2017 saw 144 private venture-backed companies exit. Only 37 of those disclosed their purchase price, which totaled just over $13 billion, according to VCJ’s analysis of the preliminary data from Thomson Reuters. In the first half of 2016, 154 companies were sold or acquired, and 37 disclosed their purchase prices for a combined $20 billion.

The biggest exit of the first half of 2017 was San Francisco-based application performance management company AppDynamics, which was sold in March to Cisco Systems for $3.7 billion. The company, which had planned to go public prior to the acquisition, was backed by such firms as Battery Ventures, Cross Creek Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Lightspeed Management Company. The company raised a total of $315 million in venture capital before its acquisition.

The year before, the biggest exit of the first half of 2016 was cancer drug developer Stemcentrx, which sold to the pharmaceutical company AbbVie in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $10 billion when considering milestone payments. Stemcentrx raised about $500 million in total funding from Fidelity InvestmentsArtis Ventures, Founders Fund and others.

Overall, venture firms invested $4.74 billion into the companies that exited in the first half of 2017, while they invested $4.25 billion into the companies that exited in the first half of 2016, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

Download Data: Top 25 M&A VC-backed companies (1H 2017)

Photo of exit sign by Alastair Goldfisher