Venture Capital Benchmark

Q2 2021

North America, Europe and Latin America.

What a crazy Q2. The craziest ever for Venture Capital

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As we do every quarter, we will be breaking down VC activity in the US, Europe, and LatAm and what it means to you as an investor or founder. After going through extensive market intelligence from the industry's most trusted sources, here’s the top-line review of what went down in the Venture Capital world last quarter…

But First...

New Age For Cybersecurity Is Growing In Strength

A new age for Cybersecurity is growing in strength, with Q1 funding surging 61% ahead of last year’s Q1 alone. Investments in cybersecurity companies have increased over 9x since 2011. Combined with the impact of the pandemic on both public & private sectors and the growing need for online protection, the investors are flocking to the booming industry.

Q2 in a nutshell

All-time record number of funding and unicorns minted - Covid is definitely not stopping the growth!

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Record-breaking quarter

Deal Value In Europe Amounted To $33 Billion, Which Is An All-Time High

Following that trend, the USA topped $80 billion in Q2. However, the most unexpected is perhaps LatAm with $7.2 billion in funding, which is an unprecedented increase and certainly a record shattering quarter for the region. This goes to show the incredible pace at which the industry is experiencing a rebound in the beginnings of the post Covid era, #GoLatam!!

This Growth May Be Attributed To The Slow And Steady Recovery Post-Pandemic

Namely: delivery, robotics, logistics, automotive, fintech, and cloud computing. These sectors have been adversely affected by COVID and have shown tWe may attribute some of this increased growth to the slow but steady recovery from the shock of the pandemic that first world countries are seeing, as well as the general optimism that investors are showing within the markets. As an example, on July 2, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite index hit all-time highs and Financial Times has reported that 2021 is set to be a record year for profit rebounds. For LatAm in particular, the recent uptick can largely be attributed to a select few mega deals in digital banking, where digital banking giant, Nubank, raised $1.5 billion of its $2.3 billion in total known funding in just the past three years.heir resilience to this pandemic. Automotive is a curious outlier, however, with the massive uptick in electric vehicle spending, it comes as no surprise that VCs will look to fund the next Tesla.

Speaking of digital banking

London-Based Revolut, Europe’s Largest Challenger Bank, Has Just Raised $800 Million

From SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2 And Tiger Global Management at a $33 billion valuation! This officially cements Revolut as the most valued digital banking startup in the world, surpassing fierce rival Nubank, as the company is set to expand into Mexico and Brazil, the two most important countries in the region. The funding will be used to boost Revolut’s expansion into new products and markets, including the U.S. and India, according to a statement Thursday. We also expect their European rival, N26, to raise new funding at a decacorn valuation in order to increase their competitive outlook.

Major contributors

Tiger Global Management, Insight Partners And Andreessen Horowitz Have Been Investing Into Startups At Breakneck Speeds

In fact, Tiger Global Management has invested in over 118 companies this year alone, and has led or co-led deals totaling $10.5 billion and participated in rounds which totaled a further $11.5 billion.

Growth in VC activity was high

Especially Within Fintech, Cybersecurity, Healthtech, E-Commerce, And AI Deep Tech

Aggregate Deal Values Are Exploding In 2021

Likewise, deal counts have also increased significantly compared to 2020, signalling a record-breaking year for VC. This also signals a change within the market whereby larger deal sizes and likewise larger deal counts can be seen compared to the flight to quality seen in previous quarters. More on this later.

Funding in q2 flew past Q1 at $166B

Q2 Was The Biggest Quarter In Investment Dollars Ever

Firms Are Competing To Become Top-Dogs In Both Deal Size And Deal Flow

Across regions and stages, deal counts increased in Q2 ’21 compared to Q2 ’20 as the total deal counts across the United States and Europe were up 59% and 62% respectively.

What Does This Mean...

The rise in deal counts is largely due to the macro-economic situation. Whilst far from perfect, there has been increased stability with the rapid rollout of vaccines and the Wall Street reporting a historic surge in corporate earnings, which has helped the S&P 500 rally.

The declining deal count is due to data shown for the companies thatHowever, there are also multiple reasons as to why deal counts and deal sizes have increased significantly compared to last quarter. “Private tech companies are larger and older than ever before. Instead of it being a bubble, it's more of a reallocation of public capital to private companies” - Marcelino Pantoja, startup founder, Stanford University's investment office, and Tribe Capital. This has led to many of these incredibly large funds to divert their attention to Early stage funding, even raising separate funds for this very purpose. However, unsurprisingly, Late stage funding takes the cake within these funds.

Institutional Market investors, including Private Equity firms, Hedge funds, typically have billions in assets under management. This then leads them to inevitably seek out larger investment vehicles such as “Fund of funds or other Mega VC funds” through which they may allocate an increased amount of capital into Startups, and by extension, into VC itself. In fact, according to recent data from Pitchbook, nearly 50% of new venture capital is being managed as part of funds larger than $1B.

Fund partners and managers are certainly incentivized to write bigger checks at every opportunity. This is in the hopes that they will be able to return the fund with at least one excellent investment and thus have access to the carried interest. Larger checks, however, lead to increased dilution for founders and thus, in order to offset this, valuations are increased correspondingly.
With increased capital flowing into VCs, market uncertainty, and the incentives of partners, it is no wonder that startup rounds are growing in quantity as well as in size. have been able to use the pandemic lockdown to their benefit and actually significantly grow their business.

The macro-economic situation, whilst far from perfect, has also been stabilized with the rapid rollout of vaccines and with the Federal Reserve stating that it would not raise interest rates until 2024.

Let’s Look At The Numbers….

Usa vc landscape in Q2 '21

In The USA, The VC Dollars Invested Grew To 16% QoQ For A Total Nearing $80 Billion

Europe vc landscape in Q2 '21

Europe Has Benefited Of This Upward Trend In The Market

LatAm vc landscape in Q2 '21

In Latin America, The VC Dollar Invested Has Increased By 242% Since Last Quarter!

Latam VC landscape in Q2 ‘21

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  • C6 Bank: (Brazil) $2,021 billion deal in which JPMorgan Chase & Co acquired 40% of the company in late June bringing the total funding of C6 Bank to nearly $2.3 billion. This values the 2-year-old Brazilian-born company to a massive $11.3 billion. It is one of Latin America's biggest success stories within digital finance, alongside challenger bank Nubank.

  • NuBank (Brazil): $750 million in an extension to its Series G back in January of this year. Warrens Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway led the charge for the round, effectively valuing the company at a mind-blowing $30 billion, effectively making it the most valuable Unicorn in LatAm. This is a win for Latin America, which is now attracting the much deserved funding from international funds of all sizes.

  • Kavak: (Mexico) $485 million in a Series D round led by D1 Capital Partners, Founders Fund, Ribbit and BOND. This brings Kavak’s valuation to $4 billion, cementing it as a leader in the used car market for LatAm.

  • EBANX: (Brazil) $430 million led by Advent International ahead of the companies planned IPO in the coming months. The capital will be allocated in order to fund “continued aggressive expansion across Latin America.”

  • Quinto Andar: (Brazil) $300 million in a Series E round. Perhaps the most interesting fact includes the companies backers such as Ribbit Capital SoftBank’s LatAm-focused Innovation Fund, LTS, Maverik, Alta Park, Kaszek Ventures, Dragoneer and Accel partner Kevin Efrusy.

Interesting to note here is that ⅘ of these companies are from Brazil, with only Kavak itself hailing from Mexico. This is likely due to the strong potential of Brazil within the region. Brazil has the largest population and the highest GDP of any other LatAm country. Furthermore, Brazil's internet penetration rate stood at 75% in January 2021, marking increased technological potential compared to others. In fact, Brazil is now investing into AI at a faster rate and was ranked 40th out of 192 countries in the AI Readiness Index 2019.

That is why at TheVentureCity we are immensely proud to accompany Recargapay, the Brazilian based FinTech, in their journey to become the leading mobile payment wallet for personal use and for businesses in LatAm. They have recently closed a superb $70 million Series C in Q1 and are currently the number one app for mobile top-ups.

It Is Clear That Fintech Services In LatAm Are Booming!

There Is Little Competition Within The Banking Sector

All Of This Has Opened The Door For Fintech Startups Disrupt The Industry With Lower Costs

Something To Keep An Eye Out For...

Latam VC landscape in Q2 ‘21

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Kaszek Ventures is raising mainly to support its existing portfolio of companies that will now be competing on an international level and with other well-funded startups, even competing with US companies. However, their early stage fund called Kaszek Ventures V is going to support founders in raising their Seed and Series A rounds. This has been a traditionally extremely challenging barrier for LatAm startups, and it is clear that Kaszek sees a tremendous potential within early-stage funding in order to boost startups from the get-go.

Diving Deeper Into The Stages Tells Us What’s Happening At Ground Level…

Seed funding

At $7.5 Billion, Seed Funding In Q2 Was Up 18% Since Last Quarter

The Industry’s Transition To Digital Dealmaking Has Smoothed Over With Time As More People Have Embraced The New Norm

Overall, deal counts are down 17% compared to last quarter of Q1 2021, but this is normal as we expect this number to increase as more data comes in.

A massive rebound from last year

Investors Have Closed Roughly 143% More Deals Than In Q2 2020!

This shows the overall growth that not only Seed rounds are experiencing, but the industry as a whole.

VC perspective...

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  • Current market trends indicate that investors are having trouble finding areas in which to allocate their capital in order to achieve the wanted returns.

  • As deals continued to decrease at seed stage, median and This combined with the ongoing inflation concerns, frequent currency devaluations, the instability of cryptocurrency fluctuations and the rise of larger funds with more capital to deploy is all leading to seed stage, median and average deal sizes to reach new highs.
    average deal sizes at these stages continue to reach new highs.

  • Seed stage investments have one significant advantage over others, however, as they allow investment firms to allocate their capital for a relatively inexpensive price into what could become future unicorns. This would allow firms to net much higher IRR’s and overall returns vs capital allocated.

  • As deals conThis fact is certainly driving the growth within Seed stage funding as firms seek and compete to finalize more investments, ultimately driving the price of rounds to higher valuations.
    tinued to decrease at seed stage, median and average deal sizes at these stages continue to reach new highs.

Early-stage is also doing extremely well

Early-Stage Deal Activity Started Remarkably Strong In Q2

When comparing to q2 2019…

This Quarter Is Still Up By Over 170% Solidifying The Optimism That We See In The Market Towards Early-Stage Startups

This is only further shown as median valuations for US Series A deals reached a massive new high at $42M compared to $33M in 2020. Overall, early-stage VC is certainly not likely to be slowing down in Q3/4 of 2021 and is only solidifying the prospective for a record year in the industry.

VC perspective...

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  • The remarkable upwards trend in Early-stage Q2 funding is a phenomenal example of the confidence that investors are placing within early stage startups and the obvious potential for strategically placed investments at an early stage.

  • We expect this trend to only go up in the coming months.

  • Series A valuations have also skyrocketed 27% higher than last year and up 7.7% compared to 2019’s numbers. This indicates that the growth of H1 2021 is now surpassing beyond pre-covid levels and is further evidence that investor capital is flowing through VC and the private markets.

Late-stage funding

Meanwhile… Late-Stage Funding Is Completely Rolling Over All Previous Quarters!

Showing no signs of slowing down

Late-Stage VC Is Keeping Its Crown As The Strongest Segment So Far Of The Venture Ecosystem

Capital fueled growth

The Sheer Amount Of Capital Available To Late-Stage Companies Has Specifically Impacted The Explosion Of Activity This Quarter

This can again be largely attributed to investors flight towards private markets and the recent high performance that VCs are achieving in comparison to traditional public markets.

Mega rounds tripled

As A Result Of The Above-Mentioned Market Dynamics, Q2 Saw $100M+ Mega-Rounds Nearly Triple

Reaching 390 deals compared to 132 deals in Q2'20, marking a 195% increase. Mega-rounds also accounted for a mere 5% of the total type of rounds in Q2, and yet, they brought it 58% of the total deal value.

Average late-stage deal size

The Average Global Late-Stage Deal Size Reached $132M In Q2'21

Which is a 27% increase YoY. Within those deals, the sectors that saw the biggest funding in the late-stage include cybersecurity, health care, financial services, e-commerce, deep tech AI. This is not much of a surprise considering that these are the hottest sectors on a global scale and are attracting the most capital which, by majority, comes in the form of late-stage funding.

VC perspective...

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  • While flight to quality is still an ongoing theme, rising costs in IPOs, increased access to private capital, high returns from VC firms (vs public markets & other private equity vehicles), and a reduction in infrastructure costs for scaling have caused companies to stay private longer.

  • This has led to an increase in the median age of a company going public by 50% since 2001.

  • This means larger AUM for firms, which are now deploying their capital in larger quantities across more opportunities.

Exit Landscape

Source: Crunchbase. Excludes M&A for companies that previously went public.

Quarterly vc-backed exits by type

Following Last Quarter's Trend, Q2 Had Over 670 Acquisitions Of VC Backed Startups, Totaling A Fantastic $68.5 Billion In Deal Value

This Comes As No Surprise, With Current Market Trends Leading Investors To Invest In Private Capital Instead Of Public Markets

Plus institutional banks focusing on M&A deal flow, and investors want for large returns, it was clear that acquisitions would catapult. Many sources including Financial Times reported how Private Equity firms are absorbing deals and companies in the EU with a voracious appetite. We expect billion-dollar acquisitions to increase during the later periods of 2021 as inflation concerns, market bubbles, and increased capital in private markets continue to push M&A deals.

Notables In Q2 2021

Notable Acquisitions in Q2 '21

The largest acquisition of the quarter was for Telecommunications company Telxius, which was acquired by American Tower Corporation Europe for $7.3 billion. Visa made a strategic acquisition of FinTech Open Banking platform Tink for $2.1 billion and will draw from the multiple synergies that exist between both companies.

Other notable acquisitions include Cloud Computing company Boomi, acquired by two private equity firms TPG Capital & Francisco partners for $4 billion as an LBO buyout.

Notable IPOs in Q2 '21

In Q2, we saw 235 global venture-backed companies that went public. That is definitely a crazy number and is likely to only increase as the year goes by. The most highly valued were San Francisco-based Coinbase, a 9-year-old company, is the largest public debut via a direct listing this past quarter, valued at $86 billion at the end of its closing day.

Beijing-based ride hailing service Didi, also 9 years old, is the second-most highly valued IPO this past quarter, at $73 billion. For Europe, money transfer service startup Wise, which is based in London, was valued at $11 billion.

VC Perspective...

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In the IPO market, decacorn valuations continue with unprecedented growth in Q2 with another 8 venture-backed companies debuted at a valuation above $10 billion, bringing the total to 16 decacorns for 2021. This is already 23% over the entire year of 2020.

Speaking Of IPOs, We Have To Mention A New Record Holder

SentinelOne Just Closed Its NYSE Debut As The Highest Valued Cybersecurity IPO Ever.

Sentinel who?

SentinelOne Develops AI-Powered Software For Cybersecurity

The vision was to build a next-generation cybersecurity platform that leveraged AI. The most interesting factor, however, was that the market and customers alike, believed them to be too early “In the first few years, it was an absolute battle to get the trust of customers,” - Tomer Weingarten, CEO and cofounder of SentinelOne.

As The Pandemic Struck The Globe, Many Things Started To Change

Specifically with the increased use of digital assets and data storage systems. With this change came major cybersecurity threats, which also grew in frequency and scope. We will dive deeper into this topic and point out exactly why cybersecurity is and will continue to be a major focus within the lens of VCs.

So what opportunities are there in cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. Some top performing sub-sectors include:

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Identity Management:
  • Essentially, this is a process of understanding the access every individual has in an organization.

  • According to a report by Identity Defined Security Alliance, 94 % of security & identity employees surveyed (1,000+) said that their organizations suffered at least 1 identity-related breach at some point. What's more, less than 50% of the respondents have fully implemented key identity security outcomes.

  • The Identity Management market size is estimated to be over $14 billion in 2021 as spending has already reached 13.9 billion in H1 of this year. Some top startups to look out for: Okta (USA), Auth0 (USA), Idnow (Germany)

Cloud security:
  • Many files are in digital environments or “the cloud”. Protecting data in a 100% online environment presents a large amount of challenges. Cloud security, which prevents the issue o companies misplacing, compromising, and losing their backups and stored data, as the data is stored in remote locations, protecting businesses from the threat of data loss or breach.


  • According to a report, the cloud security market size is estimated to be at $11 billion in 2021. Verizon has released statics which are quite concerning. They mention that ransomware now accounts for nearly 24% of incidents where malware is used, leading to extortion and the abuse of companies.

  • As a prime example, confirmed data breaches in the healthcare industry increased by 58% this year. These breaches inevitably lead to disastrous consequences for both private and public entities alike.

  • Some top startups to look out for: Wandera (UK), Aqua Security (USA), Guardicore (Israel)

Data, Database & infrastructure security:
  • Inside of networks and applications is data. Protecting company and customer information is a separate layer of security. Likewise, everything in a network involves databases and physical equipment.

  • Protecting these devices is equally important. Safeguarding the data a company collects and manages is of prime importance now more than ever. Database security is used to guard against a compromise of the database, which can  then lead to, reputational damages, decrease in customer confidence, financial losses, non-compliance of government and industry regulation, and ultimately, a loss of brand integrity & overall value.

  • Some top startups to look out for: Virsec (USA), Cybereason (USA), Aperio (Israel)

According to Crunchbase…

These Are The Cybersecurity Startups/Areas Worth Looking Out For

And why does this matter?...

Cyberattacks have been incredibly damaging to nations, economies and the overall population.

As our society becomes ever more digitalized and reliant on data, the impact of cyber crime has increased exponentially. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with McAfee, concludes that close to $600 billion, nearly one percent of global GDP, is lost to cybercrime each year in 2018 alone.

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Recent examples only serve to reinforce this notion:
  • Essentially, this is a process of understanding the access every individual has in an organization.

  • According to a report by Identity Defined Security Alliance, 94 % of security & identity employees surveyed (1,000+) said that their organizations suffered at least 1 identity-related breach at some point. What's more, less than 50% of the respondents have fully implemented key identity security outcomes.

  • The Identity Management market size is estimated to be over $14 billion in 2021 as spending has already reached 13.9 billion in H1 of this year. Some top startups to look out for: Okta (USA), Auth0 (USA), Idnow (Germany)

Cybersecurity is no longer a luxury in today’s environment, it represents an ever-increasing need for companies on a global scale. This fact has not been lost on the VCs of the world that are continuously pouring more investment within the vertical and at exponential rates.

At TheVentureCity we are proud to back companies such as U.S. based, Constella Intelligence, a cybersecurity platform that combines 5 key products ranging from brand and identity protection, all the way to AI powered threat detection intelligence. We believe the companies that are pioneers within cybersecurity will ultimately be able to provide the best value in the market.

The performance of cybersecurity companies in the public markets has only encouraged VCs to keep their interest at an all-time high.  Note: Deal Counts are still being updated as this represents H1 2021.

All Of This Has Opened The Door For Fintech Startups Disrupt The Industry With Lower Costs

  • SentinelOne (USA) - $10 billion market capitalization

  • KnowBe4 (USA) - $4 billion market capitalization

  • Darktrace (UK) - $2.6 billion market capitalization

  • HUB Security (Israel) - $1.85 billion market capitalization

2020 Was A Record-Breaking For Cybersecurity With 6 New Unicorns. Incredibly Enough, 2021 Has Already Surpassed It!

What We Are Expecting In 2021

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“At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” - Jodi Rell, Former American Republican Politician and 87th Governor of the U.S. state of Connecticut.

She is one of the first people within a position of political influence to recognize the dangers that cyber threats pose.

Deeper AI + cibersecurity integration

AI Has Brought Tremendous Advances Within Cybersecurity

Artificial Intelligence has been fundamental in building solutions such as automated security systems, face detection, and automatic threat detection. AI-enabled threat detection systems can predict new attacks and notify admins of any data breach instantly, making it the next major growing trend for cybersecurity in 2021.

Speaking of which, Bfore.ai, a company backed by TheVentureCity, is operating in this very sector. Their aim is to combat cyberattacks before they are even allowed to threaten companies, by using AI technology combined with hyperscale observation infrastructure and modern APIs, Before.ai augments their customer's security postures with accurate Predictions.

This is the same sector in which companies such as SentinelOne (highest valued cybersecurity IPO) and Darktrace operate in. According to a report by Fortune Insights, the global Network security market size is at an estimated at $28 billion, with a CAGR of 12% annually.

Mobile is now at the most risk

All Our Photos, Financial Transactions, Emails, And Messages Are Now Stored Within One Device

Which, in turn, leaves people with an ever-increasing vulnerability from cyberattacks. Smartphone's virus or malware are capturing the attention of cybersecurity trends in 2021 and will continue to do so in the coming decade. Mobile apps are often the cause of unintentional data leakage.

Likewise free Wi-Fi networks are usually unsecured and lead to network spoofing.

Spoofing is when hackers set up fake access points that look like Wi-Fi networks, in high-traffic public locations such as coffee shops, libraries and airports. These access points are obviously designed as traps for unaware people in those high traffic areas.

Interestingly enough, Canadian based BlackBerry (yes, the once upon a time top iPhone competitor) is leading the charge within mobile cybersecurity. The offer a suite of 5 digital products that also integrate AI within their software in order to project mobile devices from incoming cyber threats.

When speaking of startups, the global leader in enterprise mobile threat protection is Appthority, which was acquired for an undisclosed amount by NortonLifeLock (Formerly known as Symantec) which a $15.11B market cap.

Recent reports from Q1 2021 state that the global mobile cybersecurity market size is estimated at $27.4B, with mixed approximations for CAGR, the average taken was at 17.6%.

What We'll See In Early Stage

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We expect that founders will continue to have significant power to select investors & negotiate deals

It is no secret that as VCs continue to compete for the best startups with the highest potential, the power that those founders have is also steadily increasing

Institutional funds

Institutional Funds Certainly Provide A Set Of Unique Advantages Compared To Smaller Lesser-Known Funds.

Specifically, their investment can make a statement of confidence from the industry veterans which makes further investment more attractive and with higher potential.

Strong value prop

Institutional Funds May Add Value Through Larger Capital Allocations

Better deals

This Allows Founders, Particularly In The Early Stages, To Negotiate For Better Deals

And have terms that will benefit them the most. This effect is certainly not harmful to the VC industry as it allows space for meaningful relationships to blossom. The insider network here will be a definitive advantage and one that is likely to be quickly capitalized upon by many firms.

The issue

The Only Issue We See Is That This May Lead To Further Inflated Valuations For Early Stage Startups

Including those that do not yet have a clear path towards implementing the value that they are marketing. Ultimately, these waters must be carefully navigated with a longer term vision in place.

The Rise of Automotive Hacking


A fast growing cybersecurity trend in 2021 is geared towards dealing with automotive hacking.

Modern vehicles nowadays come packed with automated software creating seamless connectivity for drivers in cruise control, engine timing, door lock, airbags, and advanced systems for driver assistance.

Easy targets?

Smart Cars Use Bluetooth And Wi-Fi Technologies To Communicate, Which Also Opens Them To Several Vulnerabilities

Gaining control of the vehicle or using microphones for eavesdropping is expected to rise in 2021 with more use of automated vehicles. As companies race to develop the latest and most highly capable self-driving or autonomous vehicles, the cyber threat will only grow at exponential levels. We expect this sector to grow exponentially in the next half decade.

Companies already making waves

Companies Such As Digital AI Have Developed A Suite Of Cybersecurity Solutions For Vehicles

Conclusion

Life Is Slowly Going Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels

Q2 was another record quarter

Despite All The Challenges, Q2 Is Setting The Pace For What Is Likely To The Best Year In VC Funding History

With current market dynamics, The U.S. is on fire, VC investments are driving massive growth including record mega-deals. Europe is also not far behind and is seeing historic surges for a market that was traditionally more conservative (vs the U.S.) when investing within startups. Likewise, the Latin American region is almost single-handedly being pushed to new highs thanks to the recent funding poured into select FinTech giants.

Cybersecurity takes the spotlight

And With Good Reason. We Expect This Sector To Show Incredible Growth

Looking Ahead

Will There Be The Necessary Momentum To Push The Promises That Technological Innovations Have Made Into Reality?

Or will they stagnate and fall under overbearing regulation? Will we conquer the wave of cyber threats to come?

As whole industries continue to be transformed and sectors are continuously disrupted, if there’s one thing for sure, it's that its going to be exciting to watch.