pitchbook

It is a great time to be a startup founder, with soaring valuations and investors tripping over themselves to get a piece of startups. As hot as the startup scene was last year, it has gotten even hotter this year, with a slew of megadeals pumping even more money into the biggest startups as they prepare to go public in the frenetic IPO market.

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Counter Brands is getting a billion-dollar makeover, and joining the unicorn club.

The parent company of Beautycounter, which makes eco-friendly skin-care products and cosmetics, is being acquired by the massive private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, executives at the companies announced Tuesday.

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Even a raging pandemic and sagging economy could not slow down startupland, which set new records for deal value, exit value and capital raised.

Investors deployed $156.2 billion into startups, liquidated $290.1 billion of value via exits and closed on $73.6 billion in traditional VC funds, according to the PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor released Thursday, which is jointly produced by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Firms are starting this year with $152 billion in dry powder at their disposal.

"The unprecedented macro events of 2020 did not deter the overall VC industry, which reached another banner year across the venture cycle," said Bobby Franklin, president and chief executive of NVCA, in a prepared statement.

At least one out of every 10 venture investment dollars flowed through Los Angeles, which continued to demonstrate its heft as a tech hub, trailing only the Bay Area in total deal value. That was tied with New York, but whereas that city saw a 16.9% decline in deal value, Los Angeles saw a 38.9% increase.

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