RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Venture capital activity reached new highs, through the first three quarters of the year, according to the Q3 2021 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor released today.

Annual records in deals, venture capital fundraising, and exit values were set, according to the report, through just the first three quarters of 2021.

For the quarter, venture capital firms poured in $82.8 billion into 3,518 deals, the report found.  That brings the total year-to-date numbers to nearly $240 billion invested into nearly 13,000 deals.  In 2020, the prior annual record for investment, venture firms put in $166.4 billion.

The growth in deal amount is driven by a significant increase in mega-deals, the report found. So far in 2021, there have been 597 deals where companies took on $100 million or more, compared to only 333 such deals in 2020.  What’s more, the report found, is that these mega deals appear to be driving a significant majority of capital investment, which the report estimates as 57.2% thus far in 2021.

“The pace of activity across all facets of the U.S. VC ecosystem in 2021 has been astounding, with many annual records already shattered before the fourth quarter even started,” said John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook in a statement.  “Existing companies and a healthy pipeline of new startups have found investors – especially nontraditional investors – are eager to deploy the record dry powder and write ever larger checks,” said Gabbert.

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Fundraising into venture capital funds also surpassed last year’s annual record, with about $96 billion coming into 526 funds year-to-date, according to the report, which also found that 161 funds closed in the third quarter of the year.

Companies backed by venture capital are also exiting at record pace, as well, and have exits have also passed their prior all-time high for any calendar year.

“Exit values doubled the previous highwater mark set in 2020,” a statement about the report from NVCA and PitchBook reads.  “Most of this total exit value has been dominated by public listings, with Q3 the most active period of the year so far.”

The report tracked 1,150 deals in the first nine months of the year, which reportedly drove $582.5 billion in liquid value, with initial public offerings (IPOs) accounting for $513.6 billion of the total, as Robinhood, which opened a facility in Charlotte this year, debuting at $30 billion, the largest in the report’s data set.