Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey - Fourth Quarter 2015

View the full Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey—Fourth Quarter 2015.


We analyzed the terms of 152 venture financings closed in the fourth quarter of 2015 by companies headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Overview of Fenwick & West Results

Valuation results in 4Q15 were moderately strong, but were not as strong as recent quarters.

  • Up rounds exceeded down rounds 82% to 12%, with 6% flat. This was a decrease from a very strong 3Q15, when up rounds exceeded down rounds 86% to 4%, with 10% flat.
  • The Fenwick & West Venture Capital Barometer showed an average price increase in 4Q15 of 70%. While still strong, this was a significant decrease from the 116% recorded in 3Q15, and was the lowest Barometer reading since 4Q13.
  • The median percentage increase of financings in 4Q15 was 39%. This was a noticeable decline from the 51% recorded in 3Q15 and the 74% recorded in 2Q15.
  • For the first time since 1Q10, when we began tracking data by industry, the software industry was not in our top two industries from a valuation perspective, although it did lead with 48% of all deals. Rather the internet/digital media industry, with 94% up rounds, a 111% Barometer reading and a 95% median price increase, and the hardware industry, with 82% up rounds, a 100% Barometer reading and a 63% median increase, were the two strongest industries, followed by the software industry, with the life science industry trailing.
  • Series E and later financings (which can consist of both high valuation and struggling companies) were generally tougher than other series, with down rounds increasing to 26%, the Barometer declining to 16%, the percentage having senior liquidation preference increasing to 52%, and such financings declining as a percentage of all financings to 15%.

View the full Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey—Fourth Quarter 2015.