We’ve been writing for some time about how the big private companies in technology just keep on getting bigger, landing mammoth financing rounds that would put IPOs to shame.
Now, CB Insights and KPMG have released a new report which puts this trend in perspective.
According to the analysis, there have been 107 venture capital deals so far this year in which the companies have raised $100 million or more. Half of those deals have occurred in North America.
One of those companies is Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies — which is working on technologies in the sequencing of T-cell and B-cell receptors in the immune system. It raised $195 million in May. A few others in the Seattle area have come close by raising big rounds this year, including Cyanogen, which raised $80 million, and Privateer Holdings, which raised $75 million. (You can track venture capital deals in the Pacific Northwest here).
The 107 deals of more than $100 million in financing is somewhat mind-blowing when you think about it, and so is the rise of the so-called “unicorns,” those privately-held companies that are valued at $1 billion or more.
The report found that 24 companies raised money at a valuation of $1 billion or more during the second quarter, up from 11 in the previous quarter.
This sort of money sloshing around has some worried, including predictions that a few of these newly-minted startups may fall from grace spectacularly. Yes, some, like venture capitalist Bill Gurley predict “dead unicorns.”
But, for now, VC-backed companies are staying private longer and “the best companies have a menagerie of funding options,” says CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal. Even with that trend, the number of venture-backed companies completing IPOs increased substantially in the second quarter.
In the Seattle area, “unicorns” are not as prevalent as Silicon Valley, though some have speculated that companies like Apptio, Redfin and OfferUp are in the club or about to join.