2018 wraps with a record high of $255 billion invested globally
The final quarter of 2018 saw nearly $64 billion in VC investment globally, led by a $12.8 billion funding round to US-based e-cigarette manufacturer Juul. The VC deal, second only to the $14 billion raised by China’s Ant Financial in Q2’18, helped propel annual VC investment globally from $175 billion in 2017 to a massive $255 billion in 2018, according to the Q4’18 edition of the KPMG Enterprise Venture Pulse report.
While every region identified in the report —the US, Americas, Asia and Europe — saw a record high level of annual VC investment during 2018, the total number of VC deals globally declined to a 6 year low of 15,299 deals during the year, compared to 17,314 in 2017 and a peak high of 20,172 in 2015. The drop in quarterly deal volume was even more stark, with the 3,048 deals seen in Q4’18 the lowest number in 25 quarters since Q3’12.
2018 Annual Highlights
- Every series achieved a new high in median pre-money valuations in 2018, from a staggering $375 million for Series D or later rounds, to $6.7 million at the seed stage.
- The global median Series A financing was $7.5 million in size in 2018, far outstripping any prior year.
- Global median pre-money valuations rose across all deal stages in 2018, including a staggering $375 million for Series D or later rounds, and $6.7 million for seed stage rounds.
- The global median Series A financing rose dramatically in 2018, reaching $7.5 million.
- VC investment in urban mobility skyrocketed from $26 billion in 2017 to close to $45 billion in 2018.
- VC investment in artificial intelligence related to healthcare almost doubled, from $1.25 billion in 2017 to $2.34 billion in 2018.
- Agtech continued to rise on the radar of VC investors, with total global investment growing from $1.93 billion in 2017 to $2.15 billion in 2018.
Given the extraordinarily strong year for VC investment in the US, Asia and Europe, including the two largest VC deals in history, the total level of investment in 2019 will be tough to match. However, there will likely continue to be substantial VC investment globally, particularly in late-stage deals. Autotech – whether autonomous vehicles, alternative energy vehicles, or ride-hailing – is expected to see strong investment, in addition to healthtech and fintech. On the technology front, artificial intelligence is also expected to see strong growth.
The IPO market will be one area to watch as several massive unicorns, including Uber and Lyft, prepare for IPOs despite the unexpected turbulence in the capital markets at the end of 2018.
SEE ALSO: The most prominent IPOs of 2018