Global funding hits an all-time high in Q1, marking the first single quarter to reach above $100 billion, according to Crunchbase data.
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, an unprecedented figure.
The past three months mark a quarterly record for global VC investment. To find the next-highest global funding quarter, one has to go back to the fourth quarter of 2018, when global funding reached $92 billion. The second quarter in 2018 was not far behind at $91 billion. The fourth-highest funding quarter was the third quarter of 2020, when funding reached $87 billion.
Seed Funding deals holds up – $4.1 billion in 2981 deals
Seed funding held up in the first quarter of 2021, with $4.1 billion invested in seed-stage venture deals. Funding counts trended down by 2%
A new record for early stage funding – $35.5 billion in 1,605 deals
Early-stage funding set a new record in the first quarter of 2021, with $35.5 billion in funding, a 45 percent quarter-over-quarter increase and a jump of 63 percent year over year. This record in early-stage funding was in part attributed to an increase in rounds over $100 million.
Late Stage Funding and Technological Growth grew the most – $85.6 billion in 751 deals
Late-stage funding and technology growth (private equity into venture-backed companies) grew the most in the first quarter of 2021, at 56 percent quarter over quarter and more than doubled at 122 percent year over year.
Acquisitions – $57.1 billion in 631 deals
The pace of acquisitions increased in the first quarter, rising 26 percent quarter over quarter and 44 percent year over year. Amounts were flat quarter over quarter but still up year over year. 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.
Late-stage funding dominated in the first quarter, representing 68 percent of venture and growth equity in venture-backed startups. However, early-stage funding is also at an all-time high, per Crunchbase data.
With all these data recorded in Q1, it is safe to say that 2021 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year as long as the public markets hold up.