Return to search

Monthly Dashboard: Fundraising ahead of last year’s pace, and biotech gives boost to January IPOs

Fundraising slid back some in January as 27 U.S.-based venture firms raised more than $1.9 billion in commitments in the month. That was 8.8 percent less than the $2.2 billion that 25 firms collected in December.

However, the pace so far in 2018 — after only a month — is slightly ahead of last year’s. In January 2017, 26 U.S. firms raised $1.8 billion in commitments.

As a reminder, last year VC fundraising reached about $27.5 billion, off about a third from the 2016 total of $40 billion. But it was close to the near $30 billion raised in 2015, according to VCJ’s analysis of preliminary data from Thomson Reuters.

Elsewhere in January, the number of VC-backed IPOs doubled in January over December. All six debuts were in the biotech sector.

Fundraising (value down 8.8%)

In January, 27 U.S. venture firms raised more than $1.9 billion in commitments, compared with 25 firms closing on nearly $2.2 billion in December, a 8.8 percent drop in dollars. Boston-based growth equity investor Silversmith Capital Partners led the way in January, raising $670 million for its second fund. Another Boston-area firm, Accomplice, of Cambridge, raised the second-largest amount in January, pulling in $205 million for its second early-stage vehicle.

Deals (value up 12.2%)

Deal count for U.S. companies fell slightly in January, but the money raised spiked in the month, led by Uber. A total of 308 U.S.-based companies raised more than $8.8 billion of capital in January, compared with 348 deals raising nearly $7.8 billion in December, a 12.2 percent rise in dollars. The top transaction so far this year was the $1.25 billion round for Uber, a deal that was announced in late December but closed in mid-January. Investors included Sequoia Capital and SoftBank.

M&A (value down 34.7%)

Disclosed M&A activity was modest again in January, as it typically is. A total of 24 VC-backed companies were acquired in the first month of the year, with four disclosing transaction prices for a combined deal value of $742 million. That compared with 25 venture-backed companies selling in December, including five with disclosed financial details for a combined value of $1.1 billion. The January M&A total was led by the $250 million acquisition of infrastructure software developer CoreOS by Red Hat.

IPOs (value up 36%)

Six VC-backed companies, all in biotech, went public on the Nasdaq and NYSE in January, compared with three in December. The value of the January IPO proceeds rose more than 36 percent to $600 million from $440 million in December. The largest VC-backed startup to go public in January was ARMO Biosciences of Redwood City, California, which is developing treatments for cancer, cardiovascular disease, fibrosis and inflammation. It raised $147 million in its debut.

Based on Thomson Reuters data.

Photo of tree growing on coins with magnifying glass and calculator in background courtesy of Doucefleur/iStock/Getty Images