The National Venture Capital Association, aided by PWC and Thompson Reuters, provides regular data on venture fund investing and exit activity. Recent reports reveal a vibrant market. (NVCA Data) The first quarter of 2014 had 951 venture financings with a total investment of $9.5 billion, compared to 1,112 transactions worth $8.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Computer related transactions captured $4 billion of the total and biotechnology came in second with 112 deals worth $1.1 billion. Medical devices had 61 fundings worth $588 million. More of the money went to expansion rounds in this quarter. Seed investments were only 41 deals accounting for $125 million of investment. Early stage companies received $2.9 billion in 451 fundings. Expansion stage firms got $3.9 billion in 274 transactions. And later stage companies were funded at $2.5 billion in 185 rounds.
Exits via initial public offerings and mergers and acquisition activity continue to be strong as well. The second quarter saw 28 venture-backed company IPOs, raising a total $4.9 billion. This was the fifth consecutive quarter of 20 or more venture-backed IPOs. There were 97 venture-backed M&A transactions with a value of $3.3 billion for the 33 that gave a transaction size. Over half the IPOs and several of the M&A deals were in the life sciences area and other segments of health care benefited as well, with 4 IPOs and 4 mergers. In the disclosed M & A transactions, 15 gave the VCs a four times or greater return, 14 gave a one to four times return and 4 returned less than the investment. A strong venture exit market is important to renew the cycle of investing in new and growing companies and VCs and PE firms are certainly being given plenty of capital for that purpose.