Q2 2021 Benchmark
North America, Europe and Latin America
What a crazy Q2
The craziest ever for Venture Capital
As we do every quarter, we will be breaking down VC activity in the US, Europe, and LatAm and what it means to you as an investor or founder. After going through extensive market intelligence from the industry's most trusted sources, here’s the top-line review of what went down in the Venture Capital world last quarter…
Worldwide cybercrime costs will hit $6 trillion annually by 2021
Cybersecurity Ventures - Varonis
new age for Cybersecurity is growing in strength
A new age for Cybersecurity is growing in strength, with Q1 funding surging 61% ahead of last year’s Q1 alone. Investments in cybersecurity companies have increased over 9x since 2011. Combined with the impact of the pandemic on both public & private sectors and the growing need for online protection, the investors are flocking to the booming industry .
Q2 in a nutshell
All-time record number of funding and unicorns minted - Covid is definitely not stopping the growth!
Startups in Q2 are continuing to roll through previous year’s records, with 136 new unicorns rocketing to the top of the ecosystem. This record surge represents a 491% YoY increase compared to Q2’20! When measuring different regions compared to the same time last year, Venture funding in the USA was up 128%, in Europe it was up 239%, and in LatAm it was up a mind-boggling 454%!
Deal value in Europe amounted to $33 billion, which is an all-time high
Following that trend, the USA topped $80 billion in Q2. However, the most unexpected is perhaps LatAm with $7.2 billion in funding, which is an unprecedented increase and certainly a record shattering quarter for the region. This goes to show the incredible pace at which the industry is experiencing a rebound in the beginnings of the post Covid era, #GoLatam!!
This growth May Be Attributed To The Slow and Steady Recovery Post-Pandemic
We may attribute some of this increased growth to the slow but steady recovery from the shock of the pandemic that first world countries are seeing, as well as the general optimism that investors are showing within the markets. As an example, on July 2, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite index hit all-time highs and Financial Times has reported that 2021 is set to be a record year for profit rebounds. For LatAm in particular, the recent uptick can largely be attributed to a select few mega deals in digital banking, where digital banking giant, Nubank, raised $1.5 billion of its $2.3 billion in total known funding in just the past three years.
Speaking of digital banking
London-based Revolut, Europe’s largest challenger bank, has just raised $800 million
From SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2 And Tiger Global Management at a $33 billion valuation! This officially cements Revolut as the most valued digital banking startup in the world, surpassing fierce rival Nubank, as the company is set to expand into Mexico and Brazil, the two most important countries in the region. The funding will be used to boost Revolut’s expansion into new products and markets, including the U.S. and India, according to a statement Thursday. We also expect their European rival, N26, to raise new funding at a decacorn valuation in order to increase their competitive outlook.
Tiger Global Management, Insight Partners and Andreessen Horowitz have been investing into startups At Breakneck Speeds
In fact, Tiger Global Management has invested in over 118 companies this year alone, and has led or co-led deals totaling $10.5 billion and participated in rounds which totaled a further $11.5 billion.
Growth in VC Activity was high
Especially within Fintech, Cybersecurity, Healthtech, E-commerce, and AI Deep tech
In fact, Fintech companies represented 22% of total global funding this quarter, with over $33 billion in funding. A particular highlight is one of our Fintech rock stars, Returnly, that had a $300M exit via acquisition by Nasdaq listed payment's leader Affirm. These sectors have seen significant growth during the pandemic, as they have far proven their resilience to the recent economic shifts. There has only been a growing need in the market for these largely software based sectors as the world becomes ever reliant on online, digital services to function. Cybersecurity in particular, which will be featured in further detail below, is a sector that we expect to grow exponentially as top-tier protection for companies will become a necessity in the coming decade.
Aggregate deal values are exploding in 2021
Likewise, deal counts have also increased significantly compared to 2020, signalling a record-breaking year for VC. This also signals a change within the market whereby larger deal sizes and likewise larger deal counts can be seen compared to the flight to quality seen in previous quarters. More on this later.
Funding in Q2 flew past Q1 at $166B
Q2 Was the biggest quarter in investment dollars ever
The global economy is still grappling with what was thought to be the tail-end of the pandemic and yet, funding has increased by over 250% YoY and 25% QoQ. This demonstrates that despite the turmoil of inflation concerns and pandemic restrictions, investors are pouring capital into the market, which is effectively at an all-time high.
Deal counts have notably risen YoY
firms Are competing to become top-dogs in both deal size and deal flow
Across regions and stages, deal counts increased in Q2 ’21 compared to Q2 ’20 as the total deal counts across the United States and Europe were up 59% and 62% respectively.
What Does This Mean...
The rise in deal counts is largely due to the macro-economic situation. Whilst far from perfect, there has been increased stability with the rapid rollout of vaccines and the Wall Street reporting a historic surge in corporate earnings, which has helped the S&P 500 rally.
However, there are also multiple reasons as to why deal counts and deal sizes have increased significantly compared to last quarter. “Private tech companies are larger and older than ever before. Instead of it being a bubble, it's more of a reallocation of public capital to private companies” - Marcelino Pantoja, startup founder, Stanford University's investment office, and Tribe Capital. This has led to many of these incredibly large funds to divert their attention to Early stage funding, even raising separate funds for this very purpose. However, unsurprisingly, Late stage funding takes the cake within these funds.
Institutional Market investors, including Private Equity firms, Hedge funds, typically have billions in assets under management. This then leads them to inevitably seek out larger investment vehicles such as “Fund of funds or other Mega VC funds” through which they may allocate an increased amount of capital into Startups, and by extension, into VC itself. In fact, according to recent data from Pitchbook, nearly 50% of new venture capital is being managed as part of funds larger than $1B.
Fund partners and managers are certainly incentivized to write bigger checks at every opportunity. This is in the hopes that they will be able to return the fund with at least one excellent investment and thus have access to the carried interest. Larger checks, however, lead to increased dilution for founders and thus, in order to offset this, valuations are increased correspondingly.
With increased capital flowing into VCs, market uncertainty, and the incentives of partners, it is no wonder that startup rounds are growing in quantity as well as in size.
let’s look at the numbers….
USA VC Landscape in Q2‘21
In the USA, the VC dollars invested grew to 16% QoQ for a total nearing $80 billion
This signifies a 128% YoY increase that is paving the way for a new era of VC activity. Deal counts slightly decreased by 12% since last quarter, but grew by 60% over Q2 ‘20.
Europe VC Landscape in Q2 ‘21
Europe Has Benefited of this upward trend In the market
This is showing massive promise for the potential that Europe has to continuously attract more funding and the necessary environment for startups to flourish. The VC dollar invested jumped 64% over last quarter and 238% over Q1 ‘20 for a staggering $33 billion! The deal count also rose to 18% QoQ. It is worth mentioning that the deal count is up 62% YoY. This reflects the powerful rebound and growth that the traditionally competitive European market is experiencing. Additionally, CB insights reports that Early stage deal share represented 69% of all funding in Europe for Q2.
LatAm VC Landscape in Q2 ‘21
In Latin America, the VC dollar invested has increased by 242% since last quarter!
This is a stratospheric increase QoQ, with $7.2 billion invested, completely blowing Q1 ($2.1 billion) completely out of the water. The deal count equally managed to increase and was up 49% since last quarter.
LATAM VC LANDSCAPE IN Q2 ‘21
Interesting to note here is that ⅘ of these companies are from Brazil, with only Kavak itself hailing from Mexico. This is likely due to the strong potential of Brazil within the region. Brazil has the largest population and the highest GDP of any other LatAm country. Furthermore, Brazil's internet penetration rate stood at 75% in January 2021, marking increased technological potential compared to others. In fact, Brazil is now investing into AI at a faster rate and was ranked 40th out of 192 countries in the AI Readiness Index 2019.
That is why at TheVentureCity we are immensely proud to accompany Recargapay, the Brazilian based FinTech, in their journey to become the leading mobile payment wallet for personal use and for businesses in LatAm. They have recently closed a superb $70 million Series C in Q1 and are currently the number one app for mobile top-ups.
It is clear that Fintech services in LatAm are booming!
We attribute much of the growth within FinTech to the nature of the region. Digitalized payment services are in high demand due to the large population of underserved and under banked people. Remittances in particular are increasingly popular as there exist multiple payment corridors in between LatAm regions and the United States.
there is little competition within the banking sector
A few major players control a large share of banking in Brazil. And a larger concentration on wealthier clients has led to overall higher costs for services, such as loans, and subpar experiences for clients who do not fit into that category. That is why companies such as, Flourish, Plipag, and Cajero (backed by TheVentureCity), are crucial for the ecosystem.
All of this has opened the door for fintech startups disrupt the industry with lower costs
As well as superior customer experiences using digitalized assets (i.e. mobile apps) and even offer options found in the U.S. In fact, companies such as Finconecta are leading the charge with 12 different services powered by their “4wrd” engine that allows companies to expand business models and create new revenue streams, at a fraction of the time and cost. Furthermore, we see that the regulatory environment is improving in countries like Mexico, where the scope of regulation is shifting post pandemic and adapting to the new market trends.
Something to keep an eye out for...
Kaszek Ventures, one of the most well known LatAm funds, has announced its largest fund closure of $1B in May. The capital was raised across a duo of funds: Kaszek Ventures V, a $475M early-stage fund, and Kaszek Ventures Opportunity II, a $525M fund for later-stage investments.
Kaszek Ventures is raising mainly to support its existing portfolio of companies that will now be competing on an international level and with other well-funded startups, even competing with US companies. However, their early stage fund called Kaszek Ventures V is going to support founders in raising their Seed and Series A rounds. This has been a traditionally extremely challenging barrier for LatAm startups, and it is clear that Kaszek sees a tremendous potential within early-stage funding in order to boost startups from the get-go.
Diving deeper into the stages tells us what’s happening at ground level…
At $7.5 billion, seed funding in Q2 was up 18% since last quarter
And a spectacular 222% over Q1 2020, per Pitchbook data. Note that data lags for seed funding are the most pronounced, so these percentages will likely increase overtime.
The industry’s transition to digital dealmaking has smoothed over with time as more people have embraced the new norm
Overall, deal counts are down 17% compared to last quarter of Q1 2021, but this is normal as we expect this number to increase as more data comes in.
a massive rebound from last year
investors have closed roughly 143% more deals than in Q2 2020!
This shows the overall growth that not only Seed rounds are experiencing, but the industry as a whole.
Early-stage is Also Doing Extremely well
Early-stage deal activity started remarkably strong in Q2
And is set to outshine all previous years by far. With $38 billion in deal value, Q2 is up 89% since last quarter! Compared to last year’s numbers, Q2 has blown past expectations with an increase of 239%, however, this only to be expected given 2020s slump.
when comparing to Q2 2019...
This quarter is still up by over 170% solidifying the optimism that we see in the market towards early-stage startups
This is only further shown as median valuations for US Series A deals reached a massive new high at $42M compared to $33M in 2020. Overall, early-stage VC is certainly not likely to be slowing down in Q3/4 of 2021 and is only solidifying the prospective for a record year in the industry.
Meanwhile… Late-Stage funding is completely rolling over all previous quarters!
Q2 has been massive for late-stage funding, as it rocketed past Q1’21 & Q2 2020 with an increase of 78% and 279%, respectively. The industry is growing, and it’s growing at a breakneck pace. This year’s performance also represents large funding going to a greater number of companies at the later stages, with over 3,000 having raised late-stage funding this year so far.
showing no signs of slowing down
Late-stage VC is keeping its crown as the strongest segment so far of the venture ecosystem
It is, once again, important to note that the phenomenal increase in percentage terms is also due to the rebound we are seeing compared to 2020. Thus, when compared to 2019’s numbers, we see an even larger increase of over 300% for deal value and 126% for deal count.
CApital Fueled Growth
The sheer amount of capital available to late-stage companies has specifically impacted the explosion of activity this quarter
This can again be largely attributed to investors flight towards private markets and the recent high performance that VCs are achieving in comparison to traditional public markets.
Mega rounds tripled
As a result of the above-mentioned market dynamics, Q2 saw $100M+ mega-rounds nearly triple
Reaching 390 deals compared to 132 deals in Q2'20, marking a 195% increase. Mega-rounds also accounted for a mere 5% of the total type of rounds in Q2, and yet, they brought it 58% of the total deal value.
average late-stage deal size
The average global late-stage deal size reached $132M in Q2'21
Which is a 27% increase YoY. Within those deals, the sectors that saw the biggest funding in the late-stage include cybersecurity, health care, financial services, e-commerce, deep tech AI. This is not much of a surprise considering that these are the hottest sectors on a global scale and are attracting the most capital which, by majority, comes in the form of late-stage funding.
Quarterly VC-Backed Exits by Type
Following last quarter's trend, Q2 had over 670 acquisitions of VC backed startups, totaling a fantastic $68.5 billion in deal value
The break neck speed of M&A only remained steady in Q2, rising 6% QoQ and 99% YoY. This represents a clear-cut increase compared to 2020. However, Billion-dollar acquisitions in Q2 totaled only 17 VC-backed companies, up only 13% QoQ and down from 20 in Q4’20 which was an all-time record.
This comes as no surprise, with current market trends leading investors to invest in private capital instead of public markets
Plus institutional banks focusing on M&A deal flow, and investors want for large returns, it was clear that acquisitions would catapult. Many sources including Financial Times reported how Private Equity firms are absorbing deals and companies in the EU with a voracious appetite. We expect billion-dollar acquisitions to increase during the later periods of 2021 as inflation concerns, market bubbles, and increased capital in private markets continue to push M&A deals.
Notables in q2 2021
Notable Acquisitions in Q2'21
The largest acquisition of the quarter was for Telecommunications company Telxius, which was acquired by American Tower Corporation Europe for $7.3 billion. Visa made a strategic acquisition of FinTech Open Banking platform Tink for $2.1 billion and will draw from the multiple synergies that exist between both companies
Notable IPOs in Q2'21
In Q2, we saw 235 global venture-backed companies that went public. That is definitely a crazy number and is likely to only increase as the year goes by. The most highly valued were San Francisco-based Coinbase, a 9-year-old company, is the largest public debut via a direct listing this past quarter, valued at $86 billion at the end of its closing day.
In the IPO market, decacorn valuations continue with unprecedented growth in Q2 with another 8 venture-backed companies debuted at a valuation above $10 billion, bringing the total to 16 decacorns for 2021. This is already 23% over the entire year of 2020.
Speaking of IPOs, we have to mention a new record holder
SentinelOne Just Closed Its NYSE Debut As The Highest Valued Cybersecurity IPO Ever.
SentinelOne develops AI-powered software for cybersecurity
The vision was to build a next-generation cybersecurity platform that leveraged AI. The most interesting factor, however, was that the market and customers alike, believed them to be too early “In the first few years, it was an absolute battle to get the trust of customers,” - Tomer Weingarten, CEO and cofounder of SentinelOne.
as the pandemic struck the globe, many things started to change
Specifically with the increased use of digital assets and data storage systems. With this change came major cybersecurity threats, which also grew in frequency and scope. We will dive deeper into this topic and point out exactly why cybersecurity is and will continue to be a major focus within the lens of VCs.
So what opportunities are there in cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. Some top performing sub-sectors include:
Data, Database & infrastructure security:
according to crunchbase...
these are the Cybersecurity startups/areas worth looking out for
What is most interesting is the range of diverse sectors within cybersecurity from which these companies operate from. This also helps to illustrate the wider applications of cybersecurity, all of which are drawing continuous interest from investors.
And why does this matter?...
Cyberattacks have been incredibly damaging to nations, economies and the overall population.
As our society becomes ever more digitalized and reliant on data, the impact of cyber crime has increased exponentially. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with McAfee, concludes that close to $600 billion, nearly one percent of global GDP, is lost to cybercrime each year in 2018 alone.
Recent examples only serve to reinforce this notion:
Cybersecurity is no longer a luxury in today’s environment, it represents an ever-increasing need for companies on a global scale. This fact has not been lost on the VCs of the world that are continuously pouring more investment within the vertical and at exponential rates.
At TheVentureCity we are proud to back companies such as U.S. based, Constella Intelligence, a cybersecurity platform that combines 5 key products ranging from brand and identity protection, all the way to AI powered threat detection intelligence. We believe the companies that are pioneers within cybersecurity will ultimately be able to provide the best value in the market.
The performance of cybersecurity companies in the public markets has only encouraged VCs to keep their interest at an all-time high. Note: Deal Counts are still being updated as this represents H1 2021.
There are already 4 companies that have made an IPO in Q2, and they include:
2020 was a record-breaking for cybersecurity with 6 new unicorns. Incredibly enough, 2021 has already surpassed it!
We’re only a few months into the year and 14 new cybersecurity unicorns have already been minted.
If the industry continues to grow at this pace, some predict this year’s total investment of VC backed startups could reach up to $20 billion, which would mean an increase of 156%!
What we are expecting in 2021
“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” - Jodi Rell, Former American Republican Politician and 87th Governor of the U.S. state of Connecticut.
She is one of the first people within a position of political influence to recognize the dangers that cyber threats pose.
DEEPER AI + CYBERSECURITY INTEGRATION
AI has brought tremendous advances within cybersecurity
Artificial Intelligence has been fundamental in building solutions such as automated security systems, face detection, and automatic threat detection. AI-enabled threat detection systems can predict new attacks and notify admins of any data breach instantly, making it the next major growing trend for cybersecurity in 2021.
Speaking of which, Bfore.ai, a company backed by TheVentureCity, is operating in this very sector. Their aim is to combat cyberattacks before they are even allowed to threaten companies, by using AI technology combined with hyperscale observation infrastructure and modern APIs, Before.ai augments their customer's security postures with accurate Predictions.
This is the same sector in which companies such as SentinelOne (highest valued cybersecurity IPO) and Darktrace operate in. According to a report by Fortune Insights, the global Network security market size is at an estimated at $28 billion, with a CAGR of 12% annually.
Mobile is now at the most risk
All our photos, financial transactions, emails, and messages are now stored within one device
Which, in turn, leaves people with an ever-increasing vulnerability from cyberattacks. Smartphone's virus or malware are capturing the attention of cybersecurity trends in 2021 and will continue to do so in the coming decade. Mobile apps are often the cause of unintentional data leakage.
Likewise free Wi-Fi networks are usually unsecured and lead to network spoofing.
Spoofing is when hackers set up fake access points that look like Wi-Fi networks, in high-traffic public locations such as coffee shops, libraries and airports. These access points are obviously designed as traps for unaware people in those high traffic areas.
Interestingly enough, Canadian based BlackBerry (yes, the once upon a time top iPhone competitor) is leading the charge within mobile cybersecurity. The offer a suite of 5 digital products that also integrate AI within their software in order to project mobile devices from incoming cyber threats.
When speaking of startups, the global leader in enterprise mobile threat protection is Appthority, which was acquired for an undisclosed amount by NortonLifeLock (Formerly known as Symantec) which a $15.11B market cap.
Recent reports from Q1 2021 state that the global mobile cybersecurity market size is estimated at $27.4B, with mixed approximations for CAGR, the average taken was at 17.6%.
The Rise of Automotive Hacking
A fast growing cybersecurity trend in 2021 is geared towards dealing with automotive hacking.
Modern vehicles nowadays come packed with automated software creating seamless connectivity for drivers in cruise control, engine timing, door lock, airbags, and advanced systems for driver assistance.
Smart Cars use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies to communicate, which also opens them to several vulnerabilities
Gaining control of the vehicle or using microphones for eavesdropping is expected to rise in 2021 with more use of automated vehicles. As companies race to develop the latest and most highly capable self-driving or autonomous vehicles, the cyber threat will only grow at exponential levels. We expect this sector to grow exponentially in the next half decade.
COMPANIES ALREADY MAKING WAVES
Companies such as Digital AI have developed a suite of cybersecurity solutions For Vehicles
Specifically for large consumer and industrial vehicle manufacturers. All the carmaker's dealerships protect their smart cars with secure apps that handle everything from data protection to performance analytics. By technology such as binary level code obfuscation, data encryption and real-time cyber threat alerts, the company helps thwart attacks on an automotive vehicle’s software. According to a recent report published in Q2, the automotive cybersecurity market is estimated to be at $1.62 billion in 2021, progressing at a CAGR of almost 17% annually.
life is slowly Going back to pre-pandemic levels
However, there are still many more challenges to come. Some of these can already be felt with inflation concerns, Covid variants, lower returns from public markets and a major rise in cyber threats on a global scale.
Q2 was another record quarter
Despite all the challenges, Q2 is setting the pace for what is likely to the best year in VC funding history
With current market dynamics, The U.S. is on fire, VC investments are driving massive growth including record mega-deals. Europe is also not far behind and is seeing historic surges for a market that was traditionally more conservative (vs the U.S.) when investing within startups. Likewise, the Latin American region is almost single-handedly being pushed to new highs thanks to the recent funding poured into select FinTech giants.
cybersecurity takes the spotlight
and with good reason. We expect this sector to show incredible growth
As its applications become ever important in today’s and tomorrow’s world. With this in mind, we ask what lengths will 2021 push the industry to? And, which players will come out on top when the dust is settled?
Will there be the necessary momentum to push the promises that technological innovations have made into reality?
Or will they stagnate and fall under overbearing regulation? Will we conquer the wave of cyber threats to come?
As whole industries continue to be transformed and sectors are continuously disrupted, if there’s one thing for sure, it's that its going to be exciting to watch.
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