Venture capital investments rebounded in the second quarter, report says


New data point toward a rebound in venture capital investments in the second quarter, according to a report released Friday.

After record-breaking venture capital investments in the same period a year earlier, which hit an almost 15-year high of $17.5 billion, funding dropped well into late last year.

In the second quarter of 2016, VC investments amounted to $15.3 billion, funding 961 deals, with the majority of funding going toward the software and biotech industries, the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association said.

Compared with the record-breaking second quarter of 2015, dollars and deals were down 12 percent and 22 percent, respectively. In comparison to the first quarter of 2016, though, when $12.7 billion was invested into 1,011 deals, funding increased by 20 percent.

"The venture capital ecosystem has proven to be both resilient and nimble," said Tom Ciccolella, U.S. venture capital market leader at PwC. "We continue to see things we have never seen before, including megadeals, investments of $100 million or more, encompassing an unprecedented 39 percent of deal value for the second quarter and the largest venture capital deal of all time."

As Ciccolella has watched the VC landscape evolve, noting trends in top deals and the various stages of development of the companies being funded, he said there's no "single path" back to a healthy environment for fundraising and deal making.

The software industry received $8.7 billion, across 379 deals, during the quarter, holding the top spot for dollars invested among all MoneyTree industries for 27 straight quarters, Ciccolella said. Ride-hailing app Uber led the software companies in funding, bringing in $3.5 billion during the second quarter. Photo messaging start-up Snapchat was second, with a total of almost $1.3 billion.

"We've ... witnessed a decline in deal count on a quarter-over-quarter basis for the last year," Bobby Franklin, CEO of NVCA, said in a statement. "This divergence has resulted in a high concentration of dollars invested into a handful of late-stage companies."

The top 10 deals for the quarter accounted for almost 40 percent of venture dollars, and the one involving Uber was from a "nontraditional investor," Franklin added.

"The second-quarter data confirms what we've heard anecdotally from our members, which is that venture investors remain active through a string of strong fundraising periods but are becoming more selective in where they deploy capital," Franklin said.

The biotech industry received the second-largest amount of venture capital for the quarter, with $1.7 billion invested into 100 deals, such as those of cell-therapy company Human Longevity and organism design company Ginkgo Bioworks, the MoneyTree report found. IT services companies received the third-largest amount of funding for the quarter, with $946 million deployed across 80 deals.

This is the10th consecutive quarter with more than $10 billion in VC funding deployed over a three-month period, and Ciccolella expects investments to continue to flow heavily into the software industry and into Silicon Valley, at least in the near term.


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