Venture capital investing hit $28 billion in the first quarter - but fewer companies are getting funded

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Venture capital investing hit $28 billion in the first quarter - but fewer companies are getting funded

Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer of Uber Technologies, looks on as he attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Thomson Reuters

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi whose company was among the 17 so-called unicorns that got new venture funding in the first quarter.

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  • Venture Capital investing hit $28.2 billion in total deals in the first quarter, according to a new report.
  • That's the fourth straight quarter in which the level has topped $20 billion.
  • But fewer companies are getting cash; the 1,693 startups that got funding in the period was the fewest since at least 2011.


Venture capital investing soared in the first quarter, although the money is flowing to fewer and fewer startups, according to a new report.

VC firms collectively invested $28.2 billion in startups in the first quarter, according to a joint report from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. That amount was up from $23.8 billion firms invested in the fourth quarter and the most invested in a quarter since at least 2006, according to the report. It also marked the fourth straight quarter that VC investment topped $20 billion, and it represented a higher dollar amount invested than in all of 2009.

"2018 is pacing to extend the trends we've grown accustomed to over the last few years of total capital invested figures soaring to unprecedented levels," PitchBook and the NVCA said in the report.

But much of the money is going to bigger firms, particularly the so-called unicorns - those relative few startups with valuations of more than $1 billion. In the first quarter, 17 unicorns got a combined $7.2 billion in new financing. Among the unicorns that got new funds were Uber, Lyft, and Faraday Future.

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All told, just 1,693 deals closed in the period. That was down from 1,772 deals in the fourth quarter and represented the fewest in a quarter since at least 2011.

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