Q1 2020 kicked off the new decade with momentum from previous years of record-setting levels in the VC industry. Deal activity remained strong with 2,298 deals totaling $34.2 billion in deal value, setting the year on pace to near-record levels. However, these trends are likely to subside due to the fallout from COVID-19 and the current economic climate. Median deal size and pre-money valuations at the late stage dropped, and exits saw a precipitous decline in Q1 as public market volatility has forced late-stage companies to reevaluate their options. Lastly, while Q1 saw strong investment participation from nontraditional investors, past economic downturns saw these investors retract from venture to their more classic strategies. Over the next couple quarters, we will see how entrenched in VC nontraditional investors have become. All in all, Q1 2020 was carried largely by deal, exit and fundraising activity that began before the global coronavirus pandemic and is primed to represent an inflection point in the VC industry as investors and entrepreneurs brace for impact.
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