In our quarterly State of Private Markets report, Carta pinpoints trends across the venture capital ecosystem. We use the aggregated and anonymized data of more than 21,000 companies on Carta’s platform. Together, they represent more than a trillion dollars in post-money valuation and more than 220,000 startup investors.
In Q2 of 2021, the venture capital industry in the US—and the high-growth companies it funds—took flight. The data shows two big trends: a gradual increase in the number of fundraising rounds per company and a soaring average deal size. Companies in 2021 have already raised 96% of all cash raised in 2020.
- More money is going to the megadeals. Only 6% of rounds raised more than $100M in the first half of 2021, but those rounds accounted for 49% of total cash.
- Late-stage deals are skyrocketing. The median valuation for a Series D company that raised a round in Q2 was up over 100% from 2020. Nearly half of all companies that raised a Series D in Q2 achieved unicorn valuations.
- Employees are making stock decisions. Whether they took part in “The Great Resignation” and faced a “post-termination exercise window” or were just expressing confidence in the growth prospects at their companies, employees exercised their vested options at record-high rates in Q2 of 2021.
Employers, on the other hand, continue to hold to outdated ideas about the length of time an employee should have to exercise their vested shares after they depart. As the hiring market heats up, a longer window could be a potential talent advantage for progressive companies, and some (like Amplitude) have already made the change. At Carta, we believe that employers should extend the post-termination window. Read our employee shareholder bill of rights.
In the full report, we dive into these trends and examine others—including a spike in early-stage deals, an interesting change in the use of SAFEs, whether traditional fundraising stages are still useful as a benchmark of growth, and where venture capital ecosystems are growing quickly outside states outside the hubs in California and New York.