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PitchBook Q2 Emerging Technology Indicator Reveals Next Generation Of Promising Startups

Q2 2021 Report Finds Fintech as Most Disruptive Investment Sector, While Biotech Experiences a Steep Tumble in Early-Stage Financing from The World’s Most Successful Venture Firms

PitchBook, the premier data provider for the private and public equity markets, announced the release of its Q2 2021 Emerging Technology Indicator (ETI), which provides in-depth analysis on the disruptive technologies driving growth opportunities and predicts the next generation of promising companies. The report tracks a smaller subset of startups receiving seed- and early-stage investment from top performing VC firms. In this second iteration of the report, PitchBook’s Institutional Research Group tracked 211 early- and seed-stage deals that involved the top 15 VC funds. These funds are determined each quarter based on the success of their investments over time, in terms of exits and valuations. According to the analysis, the top five areas of technology investment changed from the Q1 analysis and includes, fintech, enterprise SaaS, health & wellness tech, DeFi and E-commerce.

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“The ETI is meant to provide a unique perspective on the products and technologies that are driving early growth opportunities,” said Paul Condra, lead analyst of emerging technology research at PitchBook. “By looking at this small subset of categories receiving outsized investment from top performing firms, we’re able to pinpoint the most attractive investment opportunities and the companies most likely to achieve unicorn status. The latest data shows investors are flooding the technology market to meet startups’ excess demand for capital and drive overall growth in venture investing.”

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In Q2 2021, ETI deals reached $5 billion across 211 deals, the highest deal count on record, up from the previous record of 197 recorded in Q1 2021. The quarter also recorded the second-highest deal value after the $6 billion raised in Q1. See below some key takeaways from the investment activity:

  •  In Q2, we tracked ETI deals across 24 market segments, with fintech representing the largest area of investment, accounting for $920 million across 29 deals. Fintech was followed by enterprise SaaS ($508 million across 25 deals); health & wellness tech ($498 million across 28 deals); DeFi ($434 million across 11 deals); and E-commerce ($400 million across 15 deals).
  • The ETI recorded eight deals of $100 million+, well above the historical average of three (back to 2015), but below Q1’s record 12.
  • DeFi deal activity persisted in Q2, despite falling crypto prices. Investor confidence in the sector was driven by the emerging market for products such as NFTs and general regulatory acquiescence to the industry.
  • The reduced presence of biotech deals in the wake of several outsized deals in Q1 was notable. Investment activity in the biotech sector dropped from $1.49 billion invested in Q1 to just $400M in Q2.
  • The minimal investment by ETI investors in mobility tech and climate tech startups is also notable as these two high-profile industries continue to attract significant investor interest in the late stage.

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