U.S. Venture Deal Activity during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Last month, I published an analysis of venture deal activity in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, which demonstrated that despite early warnings of an impending collapse, the pace of venture deal activity in the first half of 2020 was more or less on par with 2019. I concluded that many early observers failed to appreciate the ability of venture capitalists to adjust to a virtual environment and some analysts undercounted real-time deal activity by failing to account for the systematic reporting lags in venture capital databases—as a result, they hastily drew conclusions that have not withstood the test of time. I demonstrated that with a few small adjustments, the real-time data pointed to a venture economy that wouldn’t miss a beat this year.
We now have fresh data to extend that analysis. It shows that after a slight dip in the second quarter, venture deal activity (adjusted for the systemic data lags) rebounded in the third quarter to a level that was about the same as the first quarter. In fact, through the first three quarters of the year, 2020 is on pace to be the most active year for venture deals since the Dotcom era peak in 2000.
To demonstrate, I’ll present quarterly data on venture deal activity from the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor (Q1-2016 - Q3-2020). The data are tabulated as a snapshot of the PitchBook database on the final day of the quarter, aggregated along dimensions of stage, sector, and others. As a dynamic database, new (Read more...)