Despite uncertainties related to the global pandemic, the November US presidential election, Brexit, and the ongoing trade tensions between China and the US, VC investment remained very strong in Q4’20. The significant amount of dry powder in the market, combined with a continued focus on late stage deals helped to keep VC investment high globally despite an ongoing decline in the number of VC deals.
VC investment in the US stayed robust in Q4’20, helping drive total annual VC investment to a new record high of $156.2 billion in 2020, compared to $138 billion last year. While the US faced a number of uncertainties during the quarter, including the presidential election in November, a seemingly endless supply of cash on the sidelines and an ample exit market helped to keep confidence in the VC market relatively robust through the end of the year.
VC investment in the Americas was relatively robust in Q4’20, driven primarily by activity in the US, where Resilience, Robinhood, Chime, Relativity Space, and Nuro all raised $500 million+ funding rounds. Quarterly VC investment in Canada remained steady compared to historical norms, while investment in Latin America was driven primarily by Mexico-based Kavak’s $397 million raise in October and a $255 million funding round by Brazil-based Creditas in December.
VC investment in Europe rose to a record $49 billion in 2020, soaring past 2019’s previous high of $42 billion despite a significant drop in deal volume. Q4’20 was also very robust in Europe, driven in part by a strong rebound in UK investment; the UK accounted for six of the region’s top deals during the quarter, including LumiraDx ($389 million), Molo ($343 million), Cazoo ($310 million, One Trust ($300 million), Graphcore ($222 million), and Trinny London ($192 million).
VC investment in Asia continued to rebound in Q4’20, driven primarily by a continued surge in investment in China, where VC investment rose to an eight-quarter high. Chinese companies accounted for five of the top ten largest VC funding rounds globally during the quarter, including a $1.7 billion raise by truck-hailing company Manbang Group, a $1.6 billion raise by edtech Zuoyebang, a $1 billion raise by edtech Yuanfudao, a $907 million raise by e-commerce company Yunwang Wandian, and a $736 million raise by electric vehicle maker Enovate motors.