Things got busy in Q1 2014 as venture capital investment hit its highest quarterly mark since Q2 2001 driven by a host of notable mega-deals. The $9.99 billion invested across 880 deals in Q1 2014 a notable jump of 44% in funding and a 5% rise in deal activity from the same quarter last year. Valuations also soared during the record quarter as new $1B+ valuation financing rounds in the three month period were equivalent to the total number of U.S. tech companies that raised their first financing at a $1B+ valuation in all of 2013.
On the exit front, the 35 U.S.-based VC-backed IPOs in Q1 2014 marked the highest quarterly tally for VC-backed offerings since Q3 2000. VC-backed M&A also jumped in Q1 – the 174 venture-backed mergers or acquisitions in Q1 represented 69% growth from the same quarter last year. Of the 35 VC-backed IPOs in Q1, 22 came from the healthcare sector, after seeing just 4 in Q1’13. The 13 VC-backed tech IPOs in Q1 marked the highest tally since Q1 2012 – and a 333% jump compared to same quarter last year.
VC-backed IPOs notch record quarter
35 U.S.-based VC-backed companies went public in Q1, the highest quarterly tally since Q3 2000. VC-backed M&A also jumped in Q1 – the 174 venture-backed mergers or acquisitions in Q1 represented 69% growth from the same quarter last year.
Among the largest VC-backed exits in Q1 were Facebook’s acquisitions of Sequoia Capital-backed WhatsApp and Andreessen Horowitz-backed Oculus VR as well as the acquisition of home automation firm Nest Labs by Google. Venrock-backed Castlight Health was the largest VC-backed IPO of the quarter.
California VC funding goes boom
The top two venture-backed deals in California accounted for more VC dollars than all deals in either NY and Mass. in Q1’14. On a sequential basis, California VC funding jumped 56% raking in $5.75B and rebounding off the lows seen in Q4’13.
Mega deals drive late-stage VC activity
Behind notable mega-deals including Cloudera and Tango, Q1 saw late-stage VC funding share (Series D/Series E+) hit 47%, a five-quarter high. With companies taking longer to go public, Series E+ deal share also hit a five-quarter high at 10%.
Green tech VC catches a break
Green tech startups saw the highest deal and funding total the sector has received over the past five quarters in Q1’14. Compared to the same quarter last year, Q1 2014 saw a notable 38% increase in VC funding dollars and a 9% rise in deals.
Mobile falls below $1B in venture capital
After 2 quarters of over a billion in VC investment, mobile eased up a bit falling below $1 billion in total funding for the quarter. Compared to Q4’13, mobile VC funding and deals fell 15% and 17%, respectively. But on a YoY basis, funding to the sector was up 30% while deal levels increased 18%.
Washington’s VC financing weak. Texas strong.
Washington funding hit an eight-quarter funding high in Q4’13, but fell back to reality in Q1’14 as deal levels hit a five-quarter low. On a sequential basis, funding fell 66% from Q4’s financing high. Texas saw VC funding soar in Q1 as VC financing deals rose for the third straight quarter to hit a five-quarter high. While Q1’14 funding was up 61% on a sequential basis, it barely missed Q1’13 which counted 2013’s largest VC deal in GenBand.
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