Despite talk of a potential tech bubble, venture capital investors poured $58.8 million into startups in 2015, making it the biggest year for VC funding since 2000, according to a report released today by audit giant PwC and the National Venture Capital Association.
While the pace of investments slowed throughout the year (the $11.3 billion invested in the fourth quarter was down 32 percent from the third quarter), venture capitalists are already showing their appetite for continued investment in 2016 — despite the swooning stock market.
“The convergence of technology across sectors is becoming increasingly important and has emerged as a common thread as companies with innovative, disruptive technologies and business models continue to catch the eyes of investors,” Tom Ciccolella of PwC said in a statement.
Companies that provide financial services, consumer products and services and healthcare services saw the biggest increase in investments in 2015.
While there were 74 deals in 2016 that included investments of at least $100 million, more than half of all deals in the year went to seed and early-stage businesses (including 1,400 raising money for the first time). They weren’t all located in Silicon Valley either — entrepreneurs in 46 states raised money in 2015.
The growth of venture funding in recent years has allowed startups to stay private for longer — and for numerous so-called “unicorns” to attain valuations in excess of $1 billion.