January Dashboard: New year starts strong for fundraising, acquisitions

The venture community had a strong 2018 for fundraising and venture-backed M&A. And January started where last year left off.

TCV raising its largest fund to date and SAP making a big acquisition led the way.

Meanwhile, U.S. deal activity and IPOs trailed off, with no new VC-backed public debuts appearing in January.

The following indices are based on preliminary data from Thomson Reuters.

Fundraising (value up 16%)

Fundraising started the year on a strong note, continuing the robust trend of 2018. In January, 32 U.S.-based firms raised more than $5 billion in commitments, compared with 36 firms raising $4.3 billion in December. Technology Crossover Ventures led the way in January, raising $2.68 billion to close its 10th fund at more than $3 billion, its largest fund to date.

Deals (value down 53%)

The preliminary deal count in January saw 325 companies raise nearly $10.2 billion. The figures included 20 companies raising rounds of $100 million or more. The: largest transaction: SoftBank poured $2 billion more into We Cos, the rebranded name for the shared-office-space operator WeWork. The January total would have beaten the previous month were it not for the $12.8 billion Juul Labs raised in December, giving the final month of last year $21.7 billion raised by 374 companies.

M&A (value up 550%)

M&A numbers skyrocketed in January, thanks to the largest acquisition of a VC-backed company in three years. Qualtrics, an enterprise management software provider, was on an IPO roadshow in November, when SAP said it would acquire the company for $8 billion. The deal, about $3 billion more than the IPO target range, closed in January. For the full month, 23 venture-backed companies were bought in January, with four disclosing transaction prices for a combined value of $8.8 billion. In December, 24 companies were sold, including three with disclosed details, for a transaction total of nearly $1.4 billion.

IPOs (value down 100%)

Although Uber, Lyft, Pinterest and Slack, among other VC-backed companies, are expected to hold IPOs this year, the year started out flat. No venture-backed companies debuted on U.S. exchanges in the month. In December, three companies debuted, raising $821 million in proceeds.

Source: Thomson Reuters