Looking Back at Top PE and VC Datapoints in the 2010s

January 20, 2020

What kind of decade was the 2010s for the venture capital and private equity industries? Good, bad, ugly? By most measures, the 2010s was an amazing decade to be involved in the high finance of investing.

Here are some of the most interesting charts put out by private equity data provider Pitchbook showing the ride we all (or most of us) saw over the past 10 years.

How much money did venture capital firms raise in the 2010s?

One of the more interesting questions of the decade deals with – you guessed it – money. How much money did venture capital firms raise in the 2010s? $100 billion, $500 billion, $ 1 trillion? The answer, according to Pitchbook, is a massive $553 billion.

Of this $553 billion in fundraising this past decade, about $121 billion was raised by firms that were relatively new to the arena, having been formed since 2010.

Also interesting is that only about $60 billion of the $553 billion was raised in 2019 and that firms started since 2010 raised $22 billion in 2019, approaching half of all fundraising last year.

The investing world is definitely changing.

Source: Pitchbook

Which firms saw the largest number of exits valued at over $1 billion?

Another fascinating finding of the Pitchbook report was the top firms with exits valued at $1 billion or more. Which firms would you guess show up on top?

Fascinatingly, the top firm in the 2020 was Sequoia at 54. Following Sequoia’s lead was Kleiner Perkins at 46 and NEA at 42. Rounding out the top 5 were Accel at 37 and T. Rowe Price at 34.

Source: Pitchbook

What did the VC exit picture look like by country in the 2010s?

The world changed a lot in the 2010s. Was venture activity in the U.S. still king still tops last decade? The answer is yes. In the 2010s, venture exits in the U.S. reached almost $322 billion. Growing quickly, but still far behind the U.S. was China at almost $178 billion. The rest of the world saw almost $71 billion in VC exit in the 2010s.

Source: Pitchbook

How was deal flow distributed by year?

Which year of the 2010s saw the most VC deal flow? Interestingly, the winner was 2018 with close to $300 billion in deal flow. In second place was 2019 at close to $250 billion. Rounding out the top 5 years were 2017 (about $175 billion), 2016 (about $150 billion), and 2015 (about $150 billion).

How did the 2010s do compared to the 1990s and 2000s?

Would you guess that VC activity in the 2010s was higher than in the 1990s or 2000s? The answer is the 2010s saw a good deal more VC fundraising in the 2010s compared to the prior two decades. The 1990s saw a little over $100 billion in activity, while the 2000s saw close to $400 billion. The 2010s saw $553 billion.

Source: Pitchbook


Overall, the 2010s was a great decade to be a venture capital or private equity investor.

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