At the outset of the pandemic, many thought the US venture industry was staring down a major decline, but 2020 actually ended with new records in dealmaking, exit value, and fundraising.
Investors and LPs remained active, and tech-enabled industries rode tailwinds created by the pandemic-forced unlocationing of business, education and healthcare.
2020 top-line figures of the US VC industry are staggering: $156.2 billion invested, $290.1 billion exited, and $73.6 billion raised by VC funds. These record figures should set the industry up for continued strength moving into 2021.
The exit-value figure was a record as well, as were the 321 rounds worth $100 million — nearly one for each day of the year.
But while the U.S. venture capital market in 2020 was hot, it was not newly so. In 2018 and 2019, VCs invested around $140 billion into domestic startups, making last year’s $156 billion result a record, but not a shocking departure from previous years.
In the U.S., seed deal count was high in 2020, around 5,227 per PitchBook’s estimates. Those rounds were worth just over $10 billion, making it the third year in a row in which American seed-stage startups managed around $10 billion in capital against around 5,000 rounds.
Boring, yeah? Not really. Inside those numbers are the whole year’s ups and downs: The fact that the seed data is so close to 2018 and 2019 levels is almost silly.