Q4 2019 – Another Record Year for Financings

In the fourth quarter of 2019, deal volumes and aggregate dollars raised remained comparable to the robust levels seen throughout last year. Cooley handled 267 disclosable deals representing more than $7.9 billion of invested capital during the final quarter of 2019.

For the full year, we handled 996 disclosable deals representing more than $29 billion of invested capital. 2019 represented the high-water mark with respect to both deal volume and aggregate dollars raised in our 16 years of tracking this data.

In Q4 2019, median pre-money valuations rose somewhat across early-stage deals, while declining partially in later-stage transactions. Of note, median pre-money valuations for Series A transactions reached $30.6 million – a new record, though this aligns with the general trend that Series A transactions are happening later in a company’s life cycle than in bygone years, as well as the general trend in the increase in sizes and valuations of Series Seed transactions over the same time period.

Overall, deal terms remained company friendly. Up rounds accounted for 90% of transactions during the quarter, a level not seen for more than four years. The percentage of deals with no participating liquidation preferences remained high at 89% of all transactions. Additionally, the percentage of recapitalization transactions decreased in Q4. Transactions structured in tranches also remained low, with 4% of technology deals and 22% of life sciences deals utilizing the structure in Q4.

GO Visualize (powered by Tableau)

Welcome to Cooley GO Visualize, which allows you to drill down on trends gleaned from deals we’ve worked on with entrepreneurs. The data you see here will be updated in conjunction with our quarterly VC Financing Reports. We hope you’ll find this and other Cooley GO resources such as the Convertible Note Term Sheet Generator and our guidance in Raise helpful in navigating and accelerating your fundraising efforts.