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Monthly Dashboard: February fundraising soars, thanks to Norwest, Battery

Fundraising by U.S. firms more than doubled in February from the month before, thanks to the year’s first two billion-dollar funds.

M&A also saw a boost in February with a $7 billion acquisition of a two-year-old biomedical company focused on treating a type of blood cancer.

Elsewhere during February, only one VC-backed IPO launched in February, and the deal count and volume fell in the month, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters.

Fundraising (value up 103%)

In February, 28 U.S. venture firms raised nearly $4.4 billion in commitments, compared with 27 firms closing on nearly $2.2 billion in January, a 103 percent rise in dollars. Norwest Venture Partners led the way with a $1.5 billion fund, its largest to date, while Battery Ventures closed on $1.25 billion. As a reminder, VC fundraising last year reached more than $26 billion.

Deals (value down 36%)

Deal count for U.S. companies fell dramatically in February, and the amount invested also dropped. A total of 239 U.S.-based companies raised a little more than $5.6 billion of capital, compared with 350 deals raising nearly $8.9 billion in January, a 36 percent drop in dollars. In February, the largest venture deal was drug developer Modernatx, which raised $500 million from Sequoia Capital and others, whereas Uber‘s $1.25 billion round in January was the largest VC deal that month.

M&A (value up 700%)

In February, a total of 30 VC-backed companies were acquired, with three disclosing transaction prices for a combined deal value of $7.8 billion. That compared with 26 venture-backed companies selling in January, including four with disclosed financial details for a combined $968 million. The February M&A total was boosted by Celegene‘s $7 billion acquisition of Impact Biomedicines, a San Diego developer of a treatment for a type of blood cancer called myelofibrosis. The cash acquisition, which is laden with incentives, is the largest for a venture-backed company since Stemcentrx was bought for $10 billion in early 2016.

IPOs (value down 88%)

Only one venture-backed company went public on a U.S. exchange in February, compared with six in January. The value of the lone February IPO proceeds dropped nearly 88 percent to $76 million from $600 million in January. The VC-backed startup to go public in month was Cardlytics, an Atlanta provider of card-linked marketing solutions. With Spotify and Dropbox on the IPO launching pad, registered for their own debuts, the numbers for IPOs are expected to increase.

Based on Thomson Reuters data.

Photo courtesy of DNY59/iStock/Getty Images.