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Background

This survey is a special interim report to highlight changes in the Silicon Valley venture capital environment through July 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

The venture environment is looking solid. Deal volume continued to be strong in July, with a notable increase in the percentage of early-stage financings. Valuation metrics are improving, although still lagging pre-pandemic levels.

Financing volume strong.

  • The number of Silicon Valley venture financings increased to 73 in July from 63 in June, and surpassed the 2019 monthly average of 65.
  • Earlier stage financings accounted for 59% of July financings, the highest percentage since March and slightly higher than the 55% monthly average in 2019. The percentage of early-stage financings had been low in April, May and June, perhaps due to venture capitalists focusing on securing capital for their existing, later stage investments, but the early-stage segment appears to have recovered.

Valuations improving, although still lagging pre-pandemic results.

  • The percentage of up-rounds increased slightly from 74% in June to 78% in July. July had the highest percentage of up-rounds since February but continued to trail the 83% average up-round percentage in 2019.
  • The average share price change of financings increased significantly, from 46% in June to 81% in July. This was the largest monthly price increase since January. That said, July results trailed the 2019 average monthly increase of 93%. July results were helped significantly by three companies that each had financings with over 400% increases compared to their prior round. As the companies were in the remote working and distance learning fields, they likely benefited from the increased demand in these areas due to the pandemic.
  • The median per share price change of July financings also improved over June results, increasing modestly from 23% to 30%. However, July’s results significantly trailed 2019’s monthly median increase of 60%.

Investing was generally solid across industries, with life sciences outperforming compared to its historical performance, but hardware deal volume continued at a low level.

  • All major industries except hardware had more deals in July than their 2019 monthly average. The life sciences industry has averaged 15 financings a month since January, compared to its average of nine financings a month in 2019.
  • All major industries had solid average price increases. Median price increases lagged 2019 results for all industries other than life sciences.

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