UPDATED 22:04 EDT / APRIL 07 2021

APPS

Global venture capital deals pass $100B in the first quarter

Global venture capital investments hit $125 billion in the first quarter, the first time the figure has surpassed $100 billion in a quarter, according to new data published today by Crunchbase.

The $125 billion invested in the quarter was up 50% over the fourth quarter of 2020 and up 94% from the first quarter of 2020. Emphasizing how rapidly money is flowing, the number of new unicorns, companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more, surged to nearly two per day in the quarter, well above previous records.

The report notes that the surge of investment comes as the S&P 500 index is also at an all-time high, encouraging more companies to go public, combined with a year of strong growth for many startups thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, startups have more avenues to go public, in particular special-purpose acquisition companies. SPACs, though not a new idea, were rare in the tech startup sector a year ago but have come to the fore as a way for companies to go public without going through a formal initial public offering process. Instead, a SPAC deal involves a startup merging with an already listed company, usually with large sums of money involved.

Recently announced SPAC deals include delivery service startup Enjoy Technology Inc. in a deal worth $1.6 billion and crowd screening tech firm Evolv Technologies Inc. in a $1.7 billion deal.

At the other end of the market, seed funding deals saw $4.1 billion invested in the quarter, down slightly from $4.2 billion in the previous quarter. Except for the second quarter of 2020, seed funding has held fairly steady over the last year by money invested. Early-stage funding in the quarter came in at $33.5 billion, up 45% from the previous quarter and 63% year-over-year.

Late-stage funding rose 56% from the previous quarter, to $85.6 billion, also up 122% year-over-year. The report notes that a high proportion of the growth was in rounds of $100 million and above, accounting for 79% of all late-stage deals.

The number of acquisitions also rose 26% from the previous quarter and 44% year-over-year, to 631 deals. Notable deals in the quarter included GlobalLogic Inc.’s acquisition by Hitachi Ltd. for $9.6 billion and Okta Inc.’s purchase of Auth0 Inc. for $6.5 billion.

Image: Crunchbase

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Show your support for our mission by joining our Cube Club and Cube Event Community of experts. Join the community that includes Amazon Web Services and Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.

Join Our Community 

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.

“TheCUBE is part of re:Invent, you know, you guys really are a part of the event and we really appreciate your coming here and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy

We really want to hear from you, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the event and in theCUBE Club.

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.