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March Dashboard: Exits surge in the month, thanks to Lyft IPO

A total of eight VC-backed startups disclosed their acquisition prices in March, helping lift the M&A numbers.

What also helped the exit totals was the IPO of the unicorn Lyft.

Meanwhile, fundraising and deals slowed in March.

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

Fundraising (value down 27%)

Although the fundraising total in March was robust, it fell more than 26 percent from the month before, In March, 41 U.S.-based venture firms raised nearly $3.2 billion in commitments, compared with 56 firms raising $4.3 billion in February. Flagship Pioneering led the way in March, raising $694 million for its opportunities fund. Accel Partners closed on a combined $1 billion in commitments for its 14th main fund and its second Leaders fund.

Deals (value down 50%)

The preliminary deal count in March saw 389 companies raise more than $5.4 billion. The largest deal to close in the month was the $300 million raised by OpenDoor Labs. In February, 393 companies raised more than $10.9 billion, led by the $1 billion growth investment in Flexport.

M&A (value up 76%)

In March, 18 VC-backed companies were acquired, with eight disclosing transaction prices for a combined deal total of more than $2 billion. In February, 32 companies were bought, including five with disclosed details, for a total value of nearly $1.2 billion. In March, the largest deal was the $618.5 million Cisco paid to scoop up Webroot, a provider of cloud-based internet threat detection services. Webroot was backed by Accel, Mayfield and Technology Crossover Ventures.

IPOs (value up $210%)

The start of the unicorn IPO parade kicked off in March as Lyft held its public debut, going out on the Nasdaq and raising more than $2.3 billion in proceeds, valuing it initially at more than $24 billion. Lyft was one of four VC-backed companies to launch offerings in March. In comparison, February had seven new debuts. The March IPOs raised nearly $2.6 billion in proceeds, compared with $820 million the month before. Bessides Lyft, Shockwave Medical launched in March with a $110 million offering. The company was backed by Sofinnova Partners, Venrock and others.

Source: Thomson Reuters.