Venture Activity on Pace to Shatter 2020 Records

July 14, 2021

Contact: Sabrina Fang
Phone: 703-283-2091

SEATTLE – U.S. venture capital activity was up across all phases of the ecosystem in the first half of the year, according to the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor, the authoritative quarterly report jointly produced by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association with support from Silicon Valley Bank.

The Q2 findings showed dealmaking, both angel, seed and early-stage VC financings catapulted to record highs, shattering expectations to notch new quarterly records. The total capital available to VC-backed companies will likely continue to swell through the end of 2021, especially at the late stage. The exit market was also extremely robust as outsized exits propelled most of the capital distributions and IPOs remained the main route to liquidity for the largest VC-backed startups. Near-record levels of distributions have continued to drive positive cash flow back to LPs and forced investors to reassess their core portfolio allocations as VC fund performance has outperformed other private fund strategies when comparing 1-year and 3-year horizon IRR. The VC market has capitalized on this eagerness for LPs to reinvest distributions by nearly surpassing 2020’s record fundraising through just two quarters of 2021.

“The numbers don’t lie, and they prove that entrepreneurs and startups are helping to strengthen our economic recovery from the pandemic,” said NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin. “Americans are innovating and investing more than ever creating new companies and new jobs at a time when the country needs it the most.”

“U.S. venture investment levels continue to rise as mega-deals become more common and nontraditional investor participation in VC becomes standard. As the industry looks toward the second half of the year, investors are evaluating whether this level of dealmaking will persist and what its broader impact might be,” said John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook. “The robust exit market of the last 24 months has returned record amounts of liquidity to LPs and more exits happening across the VC ecosystem is a broadly optimistic sign for the health of the venture market going forward.”


Investment Activity

  • VC deal activity reached $75.0 billion invested across an estimated 4,302 deals in the second quarter, bringing H1 totals to $150 billion across 8,406 deals.
  • Through Q2, activity by nontraditional investors is on track to set a completely new bar of expectations as an estimated 3,301 deals have received investment from a nontraditional institution, representing $115.9 billion in deal value (nearly matching 2020’s total).

Exit Activity

  • More than $372.2 billion of value became liquid across 883 deals in just the first six months of 2021, putting this year on pace to shatter previous exit activity records.
  • IPOs are still the story behind the elevated exit value totals, with 26 of the top 30 exits in Q2 coming in the form of public listings.

Fundraising Activity

  • Fundraising activity has yet to wane in H1 2021 as $73.5 billion of new capital was raised by 337 venture funds, nearing 2020’s high-water mark of $80.5 billion annually in just half of the year.
  • While the median fund size in H1 remains relatively steady at $51.3 million, the average fund size in H1 skyrocketed to $230.4 million, which represents a 21.6% year-over-year jump over 2020’s average of $189.5 million.

Click HERE to download the full report.

Venture Monitor Q2 Webinar – August 4, 2021, from 10:00 – 11:00 am PDT PitchBook and NVCA are hosting the webinar in partnership with Silicon Valley Bank. Click HERE to register.

Quote Sheet

Sunita Patel, Chief Business Development Officer, Silicon Valley Bank

“Hedge funds’ appetite for VC deals has increased, and some of those funds have reportedly offered to pay as much as 50-100 percent more than traditional VC competitors. In the near term, we expect to see shorter periods between funding rounds and more nontraditional investors entering VC. That’s likely to inflate dollar amounts for the most sought-after companies.”

Byron Deeter, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

“The robust levels of investment in Q2 signal the strength of the VC industry with the benefits spread widely across sectors, including technology.  2021 started with a record level of dry powder, and ample capital is now coming off the sidelines leading to high levels of investment in B2B tech, B2C tech, and Fintech.”

David Hall, Managing Partner, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Fund

“Record levels of activity in seed markets during the first half of 2021 demonstrate that the vitality of the industry is not limited to large and late-stage investments.  The expansion of very early stage deals at the angel and seed stage outside of the traditional coastal tech hubs is another promising sign for the industry with increased venture activity reaching even more parts of the country.”

Dana Settle, Co-Founder and Partner, Greycroft

“The pace and scale of investment activity this year has been incredible. There is intense competition among investors to back great entrepreneurs, leading to bigger rounds closed in record time. We encourage founders to be thoughtful in choosing their investors, as these are long-term relationships that go well beyond capital. The right partners can provide the expertise, guidance, and connections to help founders build durable businesses from a solid foundation.”


About PitchBook

PitchBook is a financial data and software company that provides transparency into the capital markets to help professionals discover and execute opportunities with confidence and efficiency. PitchBook collects and analyzes detailed data on the entire venture capital, private equity and M&A landscape—including public and private companies, investors, funds, investments, exits and people. The company’s data and analysis are available through the PitchBook Platform, industry news and in-depth reports. Founded in 2007, PitchBook has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and London and serves over 40,000 professionals around the world. In 2016, Morningstar acquired PitchBook, which now operates as an independent subsidiary.

About National Venture Capital Association

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers the next generation of American companies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. As the voice of the US venture capital and startup community, NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Serving the venture community as the preeminent trade association, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. For more information about NVCA, please visit