Startup valuations remained red hot in 2012, but are things cooling?

Even though venture capital investing fell last year on a national basis, it still remained a good time to raise cash when considering startup valuations. At least that’s the latest from a report by law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which analyzed valuations of deals in which it played a role as counsel either to the startup company or venture capital firm. 

As the accompanying chart shows, median pre-money valuations in 2012 were substantially higher than the past two years. However, they slipped in the fourth quarter for both Series A deals ($5.8 million  versus $8 million in the third quarter) and for later-stage deals ($89 million versus $96.2 million  in the third quarter). Valuations for series B deals rose to $31.1 million in the fourth quarter from $20 million in the third quarter.

“Although total venture dollars raised in 2012 decreased from the previous year, the venture funding environment continues to be strong for entrepreneurs and early-stage companies,” the report said.

The report also found that so-called “up rounds” — deals in which the valuations increased over the previous funding round — declined slightly in 2012. Up rounds represented 69 percent of all deals in 2012, down from 73 percent in 2011.

The results of the study come after several reports indicating a fundraising crunch for those early-stage startups looking to raise series A deals.

Editor’s Note: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is a GeekWire annual sponsor.

  • http://twitter.com/fijiaaron Aaron Evans

    Looks like Q1 is typically down for startups. No surprise there. But I’m predicting a burst too. All those “angel” fund conglomerates created in the past couple years are going to come due.