Quarterly VC investment in Q1 2021 flew past the US$100 billion mark for the first time, hitting US$126.9 billion globally across 6,508 deals, up from the previous record of US$98.2 billion across 7,329 deals achieved in Q4’20, said KPMG recently when releasing the latest edition of its quarterly report Venture Pulse by KPMG Private Enterprise.
A record nine US$1 billion+ mega-deals by companies located in the US, Asia, and Europe helped drive the surge, contributing more than US$16 billion to the quarterly global investment total — including a US$3.4 billion raise by US-based Robinhood, a US$3 billion raise by China-base Xingsheng Selected, and a US$1.29 billion raise by Sweden-based Klarna, the firm pointed out.
After a banner quarter of $209.5 billion in exit value across 649 exits in Q4'20, VC-backed exit activity rose even further, with $283.8 billion across 667 exits in Q1’21, according to the report.
Between traditional IPOs, direct listings, secondary listings, and SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) mergers, the global exit market has blown wide open, said Conor Moore, Co-Leader, KPMG Private Enterprise Emerging Giants Network, KPMG International.
“Interest in SPACs has been incredible during the first quarter of 2021, with companies across the globe looking at SPACs as an opportunity to go public more quickly,” Moore observed. “Given the number of SPACs being created, this will likely remain a hot exit option throughout 2021 and into 2022.”
Key Highlights according to the report
- The Americas saw a record US$74.4 billion in investment across 3,310 deals in Q1'21 - up from $47.6 billion across 3,399 deals in Q4'20. The US accounted for US$69 billion of this total (3,042 deals) - up from $45.0 billion in Q4’20.
- VC investment in Europe reached a new record of US$21 billion across 1,430 deals in Q1'21, up from the previous high of US$15.8 billion across 1,937 deals in Q4'20.
- Asia Pacific saw US$31 billion in investment across 1,615 deals in Q1'21 - a robust amount compared to historical norms, despite a drop from US$34.5 billion across 1,840 deals in Q4'20.
- Unicorn financings rose dramatically in Q1'21, accounting for US$49.7 billion raised across 182 unicorn funding rounds, compared to US$101 billion raised across 403 rounds in 2020.
- VC-backed exit activity rose to a new record, climbing from an already significant high of US$209.5 billion across 649 exits in Q4'20 to US$283.8 billion across 667 exits in Q1'21.
- Median deal sizes rose across all deal stages in Q1'21, with the median deal size for Series D+ deals rising from US$60 million in 2020 to US$100 million in Q1'21.
- The median global pre-valuation for deals rose for Series C and Series D+ rounds; for Series C, it rose from US$192 million in 2020 to US$278 million in Q1'21, while for Series D+, it rose from US$489 million to US$965 million.