New data details the decline in Silicon Valley’s Q1 venture activity

January was great. February was good. March was a mess.

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

Today we’re unpacking some new data concerning what happened to Silicon Valley’s venture capital market in Q1, with a special focus on private financings towards the end of the three-month period. If the deterioration in deal volume we’ll go over today persists into Q2, the United States’ largest startup market could be in for more than a bump as the global pandemic slows economic activity.

We’ve already talked to venture capitalists who invest in fintech, social companies, consumer startups, and other niches to understand the present state of the venture capital market. We’re also looking through data on the global and domestic venture scene, digging into local data on Boston and Utah. Other cities and states will be examined in the coming weeks.

Fluid situations demand lots of attention.

However, up until March of 2020, the venture capital and startup market had one speed (fast) and one goal (growth). The new normal of the COVID-19 era is different, and with the help of some excellent data from Fenwick and West, a legal firm that works with technology companies, let’s dig into how Silicon Valley’s venture scene nosedived as Q1 came to a close.

January, February, Ouch

The venture capital scene in Silicon Valley got off to a hot start in 2020. Fenwick’s collected data indicates that there were 126 financings in the region in January of this year — up more than 100% from the preceding year’s January tally of 60.