How much money did VCs drop in 2020?

US VCs deployed $130B in 2020, up 14% YoY and a record since 2000.

January 18, 2021

A lot.

Per data from PWC and CB Insights, the $130B that US VCs deployed in 2020 (up 14% from 2019) is the highest total going back to 2000. 

Here are a few notable takeaways from the data: 

Mega-rounds ($100m+) are on the rise

While total funding in 2020 hit an all-time high, there were actually 9% fewer deals YoY, which means larger rounds. In fact, 49% of the total funding — across 318 deals — was $100m or more (a record). 

There were also 147 IPOs over the year, a big jump from 90 in 2019 (M&A activity was down). 

There are more unicorns than ever 

At the end of 2020, a record 225 US-based private companies were valued at $1B+, with a cumulative value of $659B

Of these, 28 became unicorns in Q4 2020. That’s also a record (we think there’s a theme here). The most valuable among them:

  1. SpaceX ($46B)
  2. Stripe ($36B)
  3. Instacart ($18B)
  4. Epic Games ($17B)
  5. Chime ($16B)

These valuations — particularly for Stripe (rumored at $100B) — will be much higher after the next round of funding. 

The most popular investing verticals in Q4 2020

  1. Biotechnology
  2. Accounting & Finance SaaS
  3. Monitoring & Security SaaS 
  4. Automotive & Transportation 
  5. On Premise Software 

San Diego, Miami, Denver, and Atlanta… 

… were 4 US metro areas that are seeing increased deal activity, with funding doubling from Q3 to Q4. Meanwhile, the top 3 metro areas remain the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Boston. 

Miami — which is rising in prominence (check our Q&A with Mayor Francis Suarez here) — scored some notable deals: 

  • REEF Technology (investment = $700m)
  • Shipmonk ($290m)

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