Pando

Two slides that could predict a worse quarter for venture capital is coming

By Sarah Lacy , written on January 22, 2016

From The Venture Capital Desk

OK, one more tidbit from CB Insights 2015 year end report before we look ahead to the first quarter of this year.

All of 2015’s totals lived and died on mega-deals. Mega-deals were the reason that the total amount invested in the year was one of the highest on record, even though the actual number of deals fell. It’s the reason the fourth quarter’s venture capital total fell so sharply when mega deals declined some 45%.

That’s chart #1, and you’ve seen it or a version of it here and elsewhere:

But this slide caught me by surprise. It shows just how much mega deals were still pushing numbers up in the fourth quarter:

That’s right. Without the tail end of the mega round trend in full swing, the quarter would have fallen even more dramatically. Just ten deals in more than 1,000 made the difference between an aggregate decrease from some $20 billion to $14 billion and some $20 billion to just over $11 billion.

So in looking at 2016 the $2.7 billion question is this: Are mega deals done or have they simply slowed? Because without them the markets have farther to fall.