The venture capital industry saw one the best quarters on the exit front since the dot com days in Q1 2014. Thirty-five U.S. headquartered venture-backed companies went public in the first three months of 2014, the highest tally since Q3 2000, while VC-backed tech M&A jumped 82% from the same quarter last year.
Leading the charge in IPO activity was the healthcare sector, which notched 22 offerings representing 63% of all VC-backed IPOs in Q1. Of note, VC-backed healthcare IPOs jumped 120% from Q4’13’s tally and a whopping 450% compared to the number of healthcare IPOs in the same quarter last year (just 4).
Interestingly, the top 3 venture-backed U.S. exits in Q1 all came via M&A, two of which came from the same acquirer, Facebook. In fact, M&A activity made up 7 of the top 10 largest exits in the first quarter, while Venrock-backed Castlight Health topped the list of IPO exits by valuation on the date of exit.
Note: The healthcare sector consists of companies in the biotech, medical device, drug and & pharmaceutical industries. Enterprise health cloud software firm Castlight Health was counted as a tech exit (Internet, mobile, software, hardware, electronics)
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