Remember back in March when the VC game was done for the year, checkbooks were snapping shut and startup layoffs led the headlines? So much for all that. Q3’s venture capital numbers are in and they are anything but weak.
In retrospect, the Q2 VC slowdown looks more like a short-lived recharge ahead of a big push in Q3 than anything existential. We can see this today through the lens of data concerning what happened after June concluded and we moved into Q3.
According to data from PitchBook (data source) and CBInsights (data source), there was a lot to like about the third quarter if you were a U.S.-based startup.
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I want to dig into the data and pull out most important data points for you. We’ll get you informed and out the door in around 900 words.
If you want a more global look at the venture capital world in Q3, don’t worry. We’re doing that tomorrow right here at The Exchange. Ready? This should be both fun and informative. Let’s go!
A massive third quarter
To get a clear look at the U.S. venture capital market, we’ll start from the top down. So, the biggest numbers first, followed by increasingly narrow slices of data so we can drill down into smaller startups.
First, the top-line numbers:
- How much money was raised by U.S.-based startups in Q3 2020? $36.5 billion, according to CBInsights, $37.8 billion according to PitchBook. Those numbers are effectively the same for purposes. CBInsights calls the number a seven-quarter high, up 22% from the Q3 2019 number and 30% from the Q2 2020 result. PitchBook agrees that Q3 2020 was strong, but has its count just under Q2 2020’s own.
- How many deals was that money spread between? CBInsights counts 1,461 VC deals in Q3 2020 for U.S.-based startups. Per its numbers, that figure is up 1% from Q2 2020 and down 11% from Q3 2019. PitchBook, in contrast, counts 2,990 total deals, inclusive of rounds that it expects to be added as information about the quarter fills in. That tally “held steady” compared to Q3 2019, per the company.
What to make of all this information? Simple: Q3 2020 U.S.-based startup venture capital dollar volume was very strong, with deal counts coming in slightly weaker.
This means that we saw fewer, larger deals in the quarter on average, right? Let’s see: