Corporate biotech venture funding rises again

TechCrunch | 1/31/2019 | Staff
moni (Posted by) Level 3
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Biotech venture funding has been on a tear for the past couple of years, and corporate investors in the space are doing their part to boost the totals.

Here at Crunchbase, we’ve put together an index of the largest pharma and biotech companies active in startup investment, along with their in-house venture arms. For the second year in a row, we’re tallying their venture investments by round count and dollar totals.

Finding - Corporate - Biotech - Investors - Sums

The broad finding? Corporate biotech investors sharply increased the sums put into startup rounds they led in 2018. Overall, they also participated in rounds that were valued at nearly twice year-ago levels.

These aren’t small sums either. In all of 2018, corporate venture investors participated in rounds valued at $8 billion. Rounds with a corporate bio VC as lead investor, meanwhile, totaled around $1.7 billion.

Bit - Detail - Funding - Totals - Years

Below, we drill down into a bit more detail, looking at funding totals for the past five years, largest rounds and most active investors.

First, it’s worth noting that overall global biotech venture funding rose sharply last year and has been running at historically high levels for the past few years.

Deals - Backer - Minority - Investors - Biotech

Most biotech deals do not include a corporate backer, but a pretty substantial minority do. In 2018, investors in our corporate biotech index participated in 138 seed, venture or growth-stage funding rounds, up from 122 in 2017.

Round counts did not rise as much as investment totals, as the average biotech deal has been getting bigger. The sector has not been immune from the rise of supergiant funding rounds, and deals valued in the hundreds of millions have become far more common.

Funding - Totals - Backer - Contributions - Investors

That’s reflected in the funding totals. Altogether, 2018 rounds with a corporate backer were valued at $8 billion, including contributions from all investors. That’s up from $4.2 billion in 2017.

We also look specifically at bio funding rounds in which...
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