Venture capitalists invested $16.3 billion in 1,070 deals in the third quarter of 2015, according to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters. Among states, North Carolina firms drew $363.5 million in investments in 18 deals, ranking 5th nationally behind California, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas.

Triangle-based startups raised $131.5 million in Q3. So far in 2015, Triangle companies nabbed $327.9 million, which is already more than any full year since 2008. Three companies, Ascletis, AgBiome, and Spoonflower drew rounds of $25 million or more, six had early stage rounds and three were in the seed stage. Five of the Triangle companies that raised money are in the biotechnology sector.

Total venture dollars deployed to startup companies for the quarter decreased 5 percent and total deal count was down 11 percent compared to the second quarter when $17.3 billion was invested in 1,202 deals. The third quarter marks the seventh consecutive quarter of more than $10 billion of venture capital invested in a single quarter. The $47.2 billion invested in the first three quarters of 2015 is higher than each of the full year totals for 17 of the last 20 years.

Great time to be an entrepreneur in America

]“With seven consecutive quarters of more than $10 billion deployed to the startup ecosystem and more than half of all investment deals now going to seed or early stage companies, it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur in America,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA in a statement.

“If there’s anything we learned this quarter, it’s that despite the recent turbulence in the financial markets, venture capitalists remain undeterred and are confident investing in truly innovative companies across all sectors of our economy. At $16.3 billion invested for the quarter and over $47 billion invested for the year, total venture capital dollars deployed to the startup ecosystem in 2015 is on target to be the second highest since the inception of the MoneyTree Report in 1995,'” he said.

“Despite a modest downtick in dollars and deals in the third quarter, we are still in a midst of a robust market and this quarter marks the second highest quarter in aggregate investment dollars since the fourth quarter of 2000,” said Tom Ciccolella, US Venture Capital Market Leader at PwC in a statement.

“Though software remains dominant, the top ten deals included rounds of funding across seven industries, illustrating continued investment appetite in new areas of innovation across industries.”

Industry analysis

Software firms continued to grab the largest share of funding, landing $5/8 billion in 412 deals, although the sector was down 21 percent in investment dollars and 17 percent in number of deals compared with the second quarter.

The biotech industry came in second, with $2 billion going into 121 deals, dollars invested and number of deals remained relatively flat over the previous quarter.

Media & Entertainment companies received the third largest amount of venture capital for the quarter with $1.4 billion deployed across 90 deals, an 18 percent increase in dollars compared to the second quarter despite a 24 percent decline in number of deals. Two of the top 10 megadeals (investments of $100 million or more) were within the Media & Entertainment space.

Venture capitalists invested $5 billion into 242 Internet-specific companies during the third quarter of 2015, remaining flat in dollars and dropping 18 percent in deal count compared to the second quarter of 2015 when $5.0 billion went into 294 deals.

Deal stage

Investments in seed stage companies rose 23 percent during the quarter with 55 deals totaling $214 million, 57 percent of the total deal volume in the quarter, up from 54 percent in the second quarter. The average Seed stage deal in the third quarter was $3.9 million, up from $3.6 million in the second quarter. The average Early stage deal in the second quarter was $9.7 million, up from $9.5 million in the prior quarter.

Expansion stage investments were down 14 percent in dollars and 22 percent in deals for the quarter, at $6.3 billion and 257, respectively, from the previous quarter.

Investments in Later stage companies increased 10 percent to $4.4 billion going into 200 deals in the third quarter. Later stage deals accounted for 19 percent of total deal volume for the quarter and remained relatively flat from the second quarter. The average Later stage deal in the third quarter was $22 million, up from $18.1 million in the prior quarter.

Of the companies receiving venture capital funding for the first time in the third quarter, Software companies captured the largest share, accounting for 35 percent of the dollars and 37 percent of the deals with $878 million going into 139 deals. First-time funding in the Life Sciences sector during the third quarter was down 32 percent in dollars but up 4 percent in deals, dropping to $455 million going into 47 deals.

The average first-time deal in the third quarter was $6.7 million, up from $6.1 million in the prior quarter. Seed/Early stage companies received the bulk of first-time investments, capturing 66 percent of the dollars and 79 percent of the deals in the third quarter.

MoneyTree Report results are available online at and