Silicon Valley Venture Capital Flash Report - April 2020

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This survey is a special interim report to highlight changes in the Silicon Valley venture capital environment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on April financing activity and supplements our March Flash Report that looked at financings in the first quarter of 2020.

Please note that when providing data on a monthly basis, and especially when analyzing trends among industries or series on a monthly basis, we are working with smaller numbers than in our quarterly report and accordingly the possibility of statistical anomalies increases.

Key Findings

April valuation changes continued to be weaker than normal, but were mildly stronger than March.

  • The percentage of up-rounds declined modestly from 72% in March to 70% in April, and both were lower than the 83% of financings that were up-rounds in 2019.
  • Interestingly, the number of down-rounds also declined, from 16% in March to 12% in April, although both were higher than the 8% down-rounds in 2019.
  • Accordingly, the percentage of flat rounds increased, to 18%, compared to 13% in March and 9% in 2019. This increase in flat rounds may be a signal that there were more rounds led by insiders.
  • The Fenwick & West Venture Capital BarometerTM showed an average price increase of 60% in April from 42% in March, both below the 2019 average of 93%. The median price increase increased slightly, from 26% in March to 30% in April, again below the 60% median price increase seen in 2019.
  • Internet/new media and software were by far the strongest industries from a valuation increase perspective, with hardware showing the worst results.

Deal volume increased, and was consistent with 2019 monthly results.

  • The number of deals increased from 54 in March to 64 in April. The average number of monthly deals in 2019 was 65.

Late-stage deals percentage increased.

  • The percentage of Series D and E+ deals increased to 38% of all financings in April, an increase from 21% in March and the highest since August 2018 when Series D/E+ deals combined for 42% of all financings. That said, the average price increase for late-stage financings was only 26%, compared to 35% in March and 59% in 2019.

Life sciences deal volume stayed strong.

  • The percentage of life sciences deals continued high at 25% of all financings, compared to 28% in March. During 2019 the percentage of life sciences deals was 14%.

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