The first half of 2019 witnessed venture-backed exits totaling more than $188.5 billion, which surpasses the full-year total for all prior years, according to the most recent PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor quarterly report.
The bulk of these exits came in the second quarter when several of the most valuable “start-ups” in the world went public, including Uber, Pinterest, Slack and Beyond Meat. In fact, the second-quarter total of $138.3 billion is more than any other full year in the past decade and nearly $90 billion more than the next highest quarter.
The report was not entirely glowing: Q2 2019 witnessed $1.7 billion invested into 1,001 early-stage (i.e. angel and seed) deals, which was down 22% and 6%, respectively, from Q1 2019 and 45% and 8%, respectively, from the same quarter last year. While the decline in deal count is unsurprising given recent trends, the report describes the drop in early-stage capital investment below the $2 billion mark as “notable.”
VC-backed companies are staying private for longer and “with gains consequently staying primarily on paper, some LPs (limited partners) tapped out their allocation to venture.” However, with nearly $200 billion flowing back into VC’s coffers, we are hopeful that the dip in venture fundraising is transient. The report supports this prediction, stating that the high-value exits could lead to more investments in start-ups – especially in life sciences and female-owned companies, which continue to trend upward within the venture industry.
For its part, Indiana is also trending in the right direction, bringing in $291 million across 68 deals in the first half of 2019. By comparison, Indiana companies raised $370 million across 93 deals in all of 2018. The first half of this year also included 21 technology or tech-enabled companies in Indiana being involved in mergers and acquisitions, but the financial details of these deals were mostly undisclosed.