An industry expert takes stock of the trends in Venture Capital across the world in 2020.
In the last few months, as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped 180+ countries and regions, there has been much talk about the clouds of impending doom and gloom hovering over economies. Most definitely, this includes venture capital (VC) as well. To satisfy my curiosity, I looked at how the global VC ecosystem has fared since 23rd January 2020. This date marks the day that China announced its lockdown on the back of an increased in the number of cases and confirmation of human to human transmission. It is a definite marker in the calendar from where the situation related to the spread of the coronavirus escalated exponentially and started effecting professional and personal lives across the world. Using Crunchbase as the primary source of information, I looked at all the equity funding deals between 23 January 2020 and 12 April 2020 across US, UK, European Union, China and India. These regions should include all the major tech hubs in the world and the comparison with last year should give a fair idea (even if not exact) of how 2020 fared compared to previous years. Furthermore, for this analysis, only the deals which are categorised in Crunchbase as Angel, Pre-Seed, Seed, Series 'A - J', Venture - Series Unknown and Convertible notes are included. I understand that these trends might evolve and could look very different two months down the line. It would be good to do another similar 'check-in' post-summer when this crisis is hopefully behind us.
Starting with the UK, this year has been positive as of now. Companies received an investment of c.$2.5 billion across 276 deals for the above-mentioned period in 2020. In 2019, the total investment for the same period was $2.1 billion across 422 deals. This year, the UK has seen many large funding rounds including Revolut ($500 million), Graphcore ($150 million) and Immunocore ($130 million) among others. In 2019, only OakNorth ($440 million) received funding of more than $100 million during the same period.
Similarly, in 2020, India also saw a slight uptick in investments which were worth $1.9 billion across 232 deals. For the same period in 2019, investments of around $1.8 billion were made across 243 deals in the country.