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Venture capitalists invested a record $288 billion in the first half of 2021

Venture capitalists invested $288 billion in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, per Crunchbase.

By the numbers: Venture capitalists invested $140 billion into U.S.-based startups in the first half of 2021, anall-time record, per Ernst & Young. At that pace, the 2020 total should be surpassed in a matter of days.


  • Venture capitalists sold $232 billion worth of tech startups in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, according to 451 Research (a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence).
  • 410 companies went public on the Nasdaq in the first half of 2021, an all-time record, partially driven by an all-time record number of SPAC listings.
  • Buyout activity in the first half of 2021 hit an all-time record, including a whopping $126 billion for North American deals in Q2 alone, per Preqin.
  • Global M&A in the first half of 2021 topped $2.82 trillion, as we previously discussed, an all-time record.

All of this feeds on itself. For example, lots of VC exits lead to lots of VC deals, both because of animal spirits and structural reasons like fund recycling provisions.

  • Plus, Preqin reports that there was an all-time record 5,248 private equity and venture capital funds in market at the start of July, targeting $900 billion. That would be on top of an all-time record amount of existing dry powder in PE/VC funds.

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