by Richard Murphey
Whether you're a startup looking for funding or an aspiring VC looking for a job, it's a good time to be in biotech. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has surpassed 2019 in terms of biotech venture funding -- and there are still 3 months left in the year. In fact, 2020 is on pace to beat 2018's record year for biotech venture funding by 15%.
2020 is shaping up to be a great year for exits as well. The biopharma IPO market is at record levels, with with 33 big IPOs of VC-backed biopharma startups on NASDAQ raising a over $5.8B through mid-September. The M&A market has also shown signs of life, notably with Gilead's $21B acquisition of Immunomedics (although Immunomedics doesn't count as a startup).
A quick note -- in this post, I use "biotech" and "biopharma" interchangeably to mean companies developing FDA-regulated prescription medicines -- no devices, diagnostics, etc. Biopharma is by far the biggest subsector of healthcare VC.
This post will describe the top biotech venture capital firms from 2018 to today:
Perhaps most encouragingly, the biggest investments and exits were for companies with life-saving medicines and transformational technology. The industry now seems to value true innovation more than incremental advances and me-too drugs. If you're interested in seeing what kind of startups investors are funding, checkout our searchable list of recently funded biotech startups.
The biopharma venture landscape hasn't changed too much from 2019, with one exception: crossover investors are becoming even more active, at even earlier stages. Crossover investing started to pick up around 2012 when hedge funds and other public equity funds started investing in private companies in an effort to boost returns. As the IPO market has become more accessible to earlier stage companies, and as later-stage VC has become more crowded, crossover investors have moved earlier.
Crossover investors led 24% of Series B rounds through the first nine months of 2020. That's a huge increase compared to 2018 and 2019, when crossovers led 13-14% of B rounds.
Crossover investors are largely picking up where Chinese investors left off. Chinese investors were some of the most active funders of biotech startups in the world in 2018, but that ground to a near halt in 2019 due to US-China geopolitical tensions.
Despite the mid- and late-stage venture markets becoming increasingly crowded, early stage funding is still dominated by traditional biotech VCs. The biggest shift at the Series A stage in 2020 has been crossover investors taking some Series A share from traditional US-based biotech VCs. Crossover investors led 8% of A rounds in the first three quarters of 2020, compared to 3-4% in 2018 and 2019.
Notably, generalist tech VCs are slow to enter the sector. Generalist tech VCs are becoming more active in "bio", but generally focus on investing in companies that focus on non-pharma verticals, or that provide products or services to pharma rather than developing their own drugs.
Fund activity and performance data for 1,300+ biopharma investors covering $55B+ in global venture investment since January 2018. Plus IPO, M&A and venture comps.
The last few years have been notable not just for total VC investments in biopharma, but also for the record level of Series A investing. Series A investing was down modestly in 2019 from 2018, but 2020 is on pace to be the biggest year ever for Series A rounds in biopharma startups. As shown previously, Series A investing is dominated by US-based biotech VCs. Within this subset of investors, only a handful of investors lead more than 2 Series A deals each year.
The top Series A investors are also company creators and many of their A investments go to companies they build in-house. They then syndicate out to crossover investors (public equity investors who invest selectively in private markets, often in the last private round), Chinese investors, and corporate VCs.
While the most active Series A VCs have shuffled around a bit since 2018, there hasn't been too much change in terms of who is most active: Atlas, Versant, ARCH, Sofinnova, Canaan, The Column Group, Orbimed et al. RA Capital, traditionally a crossover investor, has made a big play in Series A investing in 2020 (and venture investing in general), which isn't surprising given the strength of the IPO market.
Who were the most active lead Series A investors in 2018 through September 2020?
What about the top Series B investors? The biggest change from 2018 to 2019 is the decline of Chinese investors. Chinese investment in US biotech companies has been a casualty of the trade war. None of the leading Chinese Series B investors of 2018 are in the 2019 leaderboard.
Fund activity and performance data for 1,300+ biopharma investors covering $55B+ in global venture investment since January 2018. Plus IPO, M&A and venture comps.
Prior to 2018 or so, there wasn't really a biotech seed market. But in the last few years, the biotech seed market has exploded. Dozens of new investors have emerged who are focused on funding scientifically ambitious biotech companies, often started by younger scientific founders (as opposed to the experienced professional entrepreneurs that often run VC-backed biotech startups).
Data on seed funding is less comprehensive than later-stage funding, as these companies don't publicize their raises as often. To identify the top biotech seed investors, I asked biotech founders in my network who have raised $1M+ in seed capital in the last 2 years.
This methodology ensures that the investors on the list are 1) actively investing and 2) founder friendly. However, this list is not comprehensive and certainly omits some great investors. If you are a founder and think I should add an investor to the list, let me know.
|Fund name||Blog||Notable investments||Location||Investor type||Team|
|5AM Ventures||https://5amventures.com/news/||Achaogen, Arvinas, Ceterix Orthopedics, Vor Biopharma, Viveve||Boston, San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Kush Parmar, Andrew Schwab, David Allison, Jamil Beg, Mira Chaurushiya, Brian Daniels, Rebecca Lucia, Deborah Palestrant, John Diekman, Michelle Ho, Pengpeng Li, Kevin Nguyen, Scott Rocklage, Jason Ruth||Follow @schwab5am Follow @ debpalestrant Follow @ jasonrruth|
|8VC||https://8vc.com/resources/blog/||Color Genomics, Bolt Threads, Mantra Bio||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Francisco Gimenez, David Moskowitz, Alex Kolicich||Follow @fjeg1987 Follow @ alexkolicich|
|Alix Ventures||https://www.alix.vc/content-1||Sling Health, Circularis, Xilis, Elegan||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Chas Pulido, Ron Shigeta||Follow @rshigeta|
|Andreessen Horowitz||https://a16z.com/posts/||Octant Bio, Scribe Therapeutics, Asimov, Freenome||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture, Growth||Judy Savitskaya, Jorge Conde, Vijay Pande, Andy Tran, Frank Chen, Julie Yoo, Justin Larkin, JT Evans||Follow @heyjudka Follow @ JorgeCondeBio Follow @ vijaypande Follow @ andy23tran Follow @ withfries2 Follow @ julesyoo Follow @ justin_larkinMD|
|Apollo Health Ventures||https://medium.com/apollo-ventures-insights||Hamburg||Accelerator, Seed||Jens Eckstein, Nils Regge, Alexandra Bause, Anela Vukoja||Follow @apollohealthvc|
|Apollo||San Francisco Bay Area||Accelerator||Max Altman, Sam Altman, Jack Altman||Follow @samaFollow @ maxaltmanFollow @ jaltma|
|ARTIS||https://www.av.co/insights||Stemcentrx, Freenome, Eko, IdbyDNA, Fabric Genomics, Aether Biomachines||Seed||Stuart Peterson, Vasudev Bailey, Austin Walne||Follow @vasudevbailey Follow @ walne|
|Asset Management Ventures||https://assetman.com/perspectives-health-care/||Evidation, Freenome, HealthTap, Audentes Therapeutics, 3T Biosciences||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Skip Fleshman, Lou Lange, Rich Simoni, Melina Mathur, Luke Lee||Follow @AMV|
|Augustin Ku||Cloud9, Hexagon bio, StemCentRx, SyntheX||Las Vegas, Nevada||Angel||Augustin Ku|
|Axial||https://axial.substack.com/||Culture Biosciences, Inflammatix, Genedit, Unnatural Products||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||Joshua Elkington||Follow @elkingtonxy|
|BioRock Ventures||https://angel.co/mary-wheeler/syndicate?utm_campaign=syndicate_direct_link||Vaxcyte, Seal Rock Therapeutics, Octagon Therapeutics, AN2 Therapeutics, Primmune Therapeutics||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Mary Wheeler|
|Bioverge||https://medium.com/@Bioverge||Notable Labs, Enclear Therapies, Echo, Blue Mesa, Occamz Razor||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||Neil Littman||Follow @biovergehq|
|Boom Capital||Mammoth Biosciences, A-Alpha Bio, FaunaBio, System1 Biosciences||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Celestine Schnugg|
|Cambrian Biopharma||New York City||Seed||James Peyer, Christian Angermeyer, Juliete Han, Tauhid Ali, Dennis Yamashita, Georg Terstappen||Follow @ C_AngermayerFollow @ JamesPeyer|
|Canaan||https://www.canaan.com/latest||Arrakis Therapeutics, Synthekine, Onkos Surgical, Pathios Therapeutics, Pact Pharma||San Francisco Bay Area, New York City||Seed, Venture||Brent Ahrens, Colleen Cuffaro, Julie Grant, Nina Kjellson, Stephen Bloch, Tim Shannon, Wende Hutton||Follow @ColleenCuffaro Follow @ JuliePapanek Follow @ nkjellson Follow @ TimShannonMD Follow @ WendeHutton|
|Civilization Ventures||BillionToOne, Omada Health, Lemonaid, Foresight Diagnostics, Singular Bio, Convergent Genomics, Rocket Pharma, Prellis Biologics||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Shahram Seyedin-Noor||Follow @CivilizationVC||Follow @themasap|
|Codon Capital||Arcus Biosciences, Bolt Threads, Flexus Biosciences, Oric Pharmaceuticals, Shattuck Labs, Zymergen||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Karl Handelsman, Mitchell Mutz|
|DCVC||https://www.dcvc.com/news.html||Agenovir, C16 Biosciences, Cofactor Genomics, Orca Bio||Seed, Venture||Zachary Bogue, John Hamer, Kiersten Stead, James Hardiman, Armen vidian, Ali Tamaseb, Anna Fokina, John Cumbers, Christopher Meldrum, Andy May||Follow @zackbogue Follow @ hardimanjames Follow @ armenvidian Follow @ alitamaseb Follow @ annafokina Follow @ johncumbers|
|Digitalis Ventures||https://digitalisventures.com/notes/||Good Therapeutics, Terray Therapeutics, The Mighty, MollyBox, Onc.AI, Rejuvenate Bio||New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Boston||Seed||Geoff Smith, Sam Bjork||Follow @digitalisvc Follow @ DigitalisSmith|
|E-Fund / Point Reyes Management||1910 Genetics, Industrial Microbes, Spiral Genetics, Nano Cheq||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Sophia Collier, Chula Reynolds, Matt Esh||Follow @artistcollier Follow @ chulareynolds|
|Endpoint Ventures (angel syndicate of founders of GeneWEAVE and Endpoint Health)||Billion to One, Shasqi, Indee Labs, Meru Health, Reverie Labs, The One Healthcare Company, Viosera Therapeutics, Synkrino||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||Diego Rey, Jason Springs, Leo Teixeira||Follow @diegoarey|
|Fifty Years VC||https://fiftyyears.substack.com||HelixNano, Opentrons, Tierra Biosciences, Athelas, Memphis Meats||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Ela Madej, Seth Bannon, Shuo Yang||Follow @elamadej Follow @ sethbannon|
|Foobar VC||Circularis, VitroLabs, Radix Labs, Nextmind, HelixNano||Seed||David Helgason||Follow @davidhelgason|
|FoundersX Ventures||1910 Genetics, Menten.ai, Kernal Bio, Trexo Robotics||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed to Growth||Helen Liang, Benjamin Xu, Tom Kosnik, Cyrus Hodes, John Sun, Wendy Hayes||Follow @helensandhill Follow @ tjkosnik|
|Genoa Ventures||https://www.genoavc.com/news||Adarza Biosystems, Intabio, Intervenn, Ionpath, Synthomics, Tropic Biosciences||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Jenny Rooke, Richard Kenny, Bill Hyun, Paul Conley, Paco Cifuentes||Follow @drjennyrooke|
|Georges Harik||23andMe, uBiome, Metabiota, Adimab, Tegmine Therapeutics||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Georges Harik||Follow @gharik|
|Gwen Cheni||Tinctorium, Lupa Bio, Synthex||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||Gwen Cheni||Follow @GwenInvestor|
|Hof Capital||https://medium.com/hof-capital||Insitro, Metagenomi, XGenomes, Ovid Research, BillionToOne||New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, London||Seed, Venture||Victor Wang, Hisham Elhaddad, Neil Devani||Follow @hofcapital Follow @ VictorWangJC Follow @ helhaddad7 Follow @ neildevani|
|Humboldt Fund||Memphis Meats, Meatable, NotCo, Mission Barns, Ansa Biotechnologies, Geltor, Miroculus, Finch Therapeutics, BrightSeed||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Benjamin Quiroga, Sebastian Bernales|
|Incube Ventures||Corhythm, Neurolink, Rani Therapeutics, Spinal Modulation||San Jose||Seed||Mar Perez, Andrew Farquharson, Mir Imran, Talat Imran, Mark Sieczkarek, Wayne Roe|
|IndieBio||https://indiebio.co/blog/||New Age Meats, SugarLogix, Prellis Biologics, Jungla||San Francisco Bay Area, New York City||Accelerator||Jun Axup, Po Bronson, Stephen Chambers, Rodrigo Mallo Leiva, Alex Kopelyan, Pae U||Follow @indbio|
|James Hong||Athelas, Hexagon Bio, Tegmine Therapeutics, Emerald Cloud Lab, Emerald Therapeutics||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||James Hong||Follow @jhong|
|Jude Gomila||http://www.judegomila.com/||Circle Pharma, Cofactor Genomics, Coral Genomics, Viosera Therapeutics, Gingko Bioworks||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||Jude Gomila||Follow @judegomila|
|KdT Ventures||https://medium.com/@kdtventures||Tierra Biosciences, PathAI, 54Gene, Elegan||Austin||Seed, Venture||Cain McClary, Mack Healy, Rima Chakrabarti, Phil Grayeski||Follow @cmanmd|
|Khosla Ventures||https://www.khoslaventures.com/blog/all||Arpeggio Bio, BIOAGE, Cellino, E25Bio, Editas Medicine, eGenesis, Eligo Biosciences, Encellin, Fountain Therapeutics, GEn1E||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Vinod Khosla, Alex Morgan, Justin Kao, Kristina Simmons|
|Liquid2 Ventures||C16 Biosciences, Solugen, Athelas||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Michael Ma, Nate Montana, Joe Montana, Mike Miller||Follow @michaelandma Follow @ scootermontanaFollow @ JoeMontana Follow @ mlmilleratmit|
|Longevity Fund||https://ldeming.posthaven.com/||Alix Oncology, Celevity, Decibel Therapeutics, Fauna Bio, Precision Biosciences||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Accelerator||Laura Deming||Follow @LauraDeming|
|Luminous Ventures||Oxford VR, Optellum, Vital, Active Global, Astroscreen, Biobeats, Beyond…, Climax Foods, Ellipsis Health, Facesoft, Flox||London||Seed||Isabel Fox, Lomax Ward, Simon Hsu, Peter Crane, Alasdair Thong, Miao He, Josh Liu, John Spindler, James Joll, Csaba Konkoly||Follow @luminousvc|
|Lux Capital||https://luxcapital.com/news/||Halo Neuroscience, Recursion Pharma, Genocea, Auris Surgical Robotics, Kallyope||New York City, San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Zavain Dar, Adam Goulburn, Ian Peikon, Robert Paull||Follow @zavaindar Follow @ aGoulburn Follow @ ipeikon|
|Mars Bio||https://www.marsbio.vc/media||Minicircle, Better Earth, Encellin, Armada||Seed, Venture||Robert Rhinehart, Arye Lipman, Llewellyn Cox,||Follow @marsbio_vcFollow @ robrhinehart Follow @ aryelipman Follow @ LlewellynCox|
|Mayfield||https://www.mayfield.com/news/||Mission Bio, Mammoth Biosciences, Qventus, Endpoint Health||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Tim Chang, Arvind Gupta, Ursheet Parikh, Navin Chaddha||Follow @timechangeFollow @ arvndgptaFollow @ ursheetFollow @ navinchaddha|
|Mission BioCapital||Zymergen, Cell Design Labs, Alector, Bolt Threads, Nocion Therapeutics, Wild Type, Pandion Therapeutics, Glycomine||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed, Venture||Doug Crawford, Peter Parker, Steve Tregay, Johannes Fruehauf, Eric Linsley, Robert Blazej, Anthony Walsh||Follow @MissionBioCapFollow @ JFruehaufFollow @ RobertBlazej|
|New Ventures Funds (Scientia Ventures)||https://www.scientiavc.com/news||ADC Therapeutics, Royalty Pharma, Fibrogen, Cibus||New York City||Seed, Venture||Jonathan Finn, Mark Finn, Henry Glorikian, Rory Riggs, Richard Warburg, John Dessouki||Follow @hglorikian|
|NFX||https://www.nfx.com/||Mammoth Biosciences, C2i Genomics, Twist Biosciences. Armada, Genome Compiler||San Francisco Bay Area, Israel||Seed||James Currier, Pete Flint, Gigi Levy-Weiss, Morgan Beller, Shayma Sharif, Brittany Yoon||Follow @jamescurrier Follow @ peteflint Follow @ gigilevy Follow @ beller Follow @ brittanyyoon|
|Nordic Makers||https://www.nordicmakers.vc/best-practice/#sub-page-1||Nextmind, Helix Nano, Biolib||Nordic Countries||Seed||Moaffak Ahmed, Michael Seifert, Esben Gadsboll, Klaus Nyengaard, Martin Von Haller Gronbaek, Lars Floe Nielsen, Alexander Aghassipour, David Helgason, Benjamin Ratz||Follow @davidhelgason Follow @ aghassipour Follow @ ln_sitecore Follow @ vonhaller Follow @ KlausNyengaard Follow @ benjaminratz|
|OMX Ventures||Finch Therapeutics||Seed, Venture||Daniel Fero, Nick Haft, Craig Asher||Follow @acasher|
|Pacific 8||http://www.pac8.com/news||Mammoth Bioscience, BillionToOne, Dorian Therapeutics, Fauna Bio, Karius, Cura Therapeutics||Taipei, San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Chris Shu, Jack Liang, Ser-Chen Fu|
|Paul Buchheit||http://paulbuchheit.blogspot.com/||Cofactor Genomics, Bikanta, Cue Health, Comprehend, Luminist||San Francisco Bay Area||Angel||Paul Buchheit||Follow @paultoo|
|Paul Graham||http://www.paulgraham.com/||Angel||Paul Graham||Follow @paulg|
|Petri Bio||Boston||Accelerator, Seed||Tony Kulesa, Jaye Goldstein, Brian Baynes, Jamie Goldstein, Christian Caraco, Josh Moser||Follow @petribio|
|Point Nine||https://medium.com/point-nine-news||Berlin||Seed||Louis Coppey, Ricardo Sequerra, Christoph Janz, Pawel Chudzinski||Follow @chrija Follow @ pawell Follow @ ric0seq Follow @ louicop|
|Presight Capital||Terran Biosciences, Peptilogics, Enclear Therapies||New York City||Seed||Christian Angermayer, Fabian Hansen||Follow @C_Angermayer Follow @ FabianLHansen|
|Refactor Capital||https://medium.com/refactor||Synthetic Biology, Computational Biology / Chemistry, Therapeutics, Longevity, Genomics, AI / ML, Other||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Zal Bilimoria, David Lee||Follow @zalzally Follow @ davidlee|
|Sam Altman||https://blog.samaltman.com/||Angel||Sam Altman||Follow @sama|
|Sea Lane||Cradle Genomics, Spring Discovery, Q Bio||Seed, Venture||Ling Wong||Follow @lingwong|
|Tech.Bio||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Omri Drory|
|True Ventures||https://trueventures.com/blog||Membio, Fauna Bio, Intervenn Biosciences, Prellis Biologics, Symbiome||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Rohit Sharma, Adam D'Augelli||Follow @rohit_x_ Follow @ adaugelli|
|Tsingyuan Ventures||https://medium.com/tsingyuan-ventures||Spotlight Therapeutics, Namocell, Erisyon, Cardea Bio||Seed||Michael Jin, Steve Sun, Biao He|
|Wireframe Ventures||Mammoth Biosciences, Reverie Labs, Geneticure||San Francisco Bay Area||Seed||Harsh Patel, Paul Straub||Follow @harsh1 Follow @ pstraub|
|Y Combinator||https://blog.ycombinator.com/||Viosera Therapeutics, Gingko Bioworks, Alpine Roads, Solugen, Athelas||San Francisco||Accelerator||Jared Friedman, Paul Bucheit, Michael Seibel, Uri Lopatin||Follow @ycombinatorFollow @ snowmakerFollow @ paultooFollow @ mwseibelFollow @ urilopatin|
|Yleana Venture Partners/Emles Advisors||Seed|
In biotech these days, exit is often through IPO. Here are the VCs who made the most through IPO exits in 2018 and 1H2020. This list includes biotech startups that raised $50M+ on NASDAQ or NYSE. The market values at June 30 and Sept 30, 2020 assume the investor held all shares since IPO (which is not always the case). This table only includes data for companies where investors held 5% or more of common shares pre-IPO.
|Total market value of investments in companies that went public|
|Firm name||at IPO price||at 6/30/2020 price||at 9/30/2020 price||Num. of portfolio IPOs||Portfolio IPOs|
|AT Impf GmbH (Strungmann family)||$1,712,122,800||$7,617,805,045||$7,902,017,430||1||BNTX|
|Flagship||$2,933,735,489||$4,265,505,826||$4,672,382,920||5||AXLA, KLDO, EVLO, RUBY, MRNA|
|Viking Global||$902,846,877||$2,116,906,190||$2,299,621,806||3||MRNA, BBIO, ZNTL|
|AstraZeneca||$885,439,521||$2,259,211,404||$2,207,424,246||3||VIE, ETTX, MRNA|
|Orbimed||$1,444,059,891||$2,045,810,505||$1,578,226,390||19||ORIC, RPTX, KROS, ARQT, PASG, IMRA, ETNB, SWTX, PRVL, NXTC, TPTX, ALEC, HARP, LOGC, TORC, CRNX, VRCA, ARVN, TCDA|
|T.A. Springer||$524,241,926||$1,314,382,194||$1,427,266,761||3||MORF, SRRK, MRNA|
|Pfizer Venture Investments||$611,182,966||$1,411,792,255||$1,306,272,567||6||IMRA, SWTX, MORF, NXTC, CRTX, ALLO|
|Baker Brothers||$826,412,824||$1,534,560,573||$1,257,933,073||7||FMTX, CABA, IGMS, BCEL, HOOK, KNSA, KOD|
|Fidelity||$622,631,600||$1,201,242,615||$1,237,059,742||10||AKUS, GBIO, BNTX, AXLA, EVLO, KNSA, TBIO, SRRK, UBX, RUBY|
|Alta Partners||$232,019,115||$824,897,144||$937,422,595||2||ALLK, STRO|
|Versant||$696,103,137||$1,181,877,945||$920,867,872||8||RPTX, BDTX, PASG, OYST, APRE, AKRO, CRNX, GRTS|
|TPG Biotech||$501,355,513||$1,056,013,206||$878,996,173||4||ETTX, ALLO, STSA, TRVI|
|Atlas Venture||$703,645,814||$707,405,788||$816,273,596||9||AVRO, GBIO, AKRO, BCYC, MGTA, TBIO, UMRX, REPL, SURF|
|Third Rock||$629,477,644||$940,999,335||$785,555,925||5||PLRX, RVMD, FULC, MGTA, CNST|
|The Column Group||$599,289,315||$930,211,477||$777,047,344||6||RVMD, NGM, CNST, RCUS, GRTS, ORIC|
|Frazier Healthcare Partners||$560,236,325||$786,150,096||$761,797,760||9||PASG, MIRM, ETTX, APTX, ITRM, GRTS, PCVX, PHAT, ARQT|
The biotech IPO market has continued to be active in 2019. To learn more about the kinds of companies going public, and what valuations these companies commanded as private companies, check out this post. I also did a writeup on the returns that venture capital firms have generated from their investments in startups that went public.
M&A exits were less common than IPO exits. The total amount of M&A was roughly steady from 2018 to 2019. The biggest VC-backed biopharma buyouts in 2019 were:
The two biggest exits in 2018 were Celgene's acquisition of Juno for $11B, and Novartis' acquisition of AveXis for $8.7B. Both companies were public at time of exit, and both raised their Series A rounds less than five years before exit. The major investors in AveXis were Deerfield, Roche Venture Fund, and Paul Manning (an angel investor). The major investors in Juno were ARCH Venture Partners, Venrock, the Alaska Permanent Fund (not really a VC) and Bezos Expeditions.
To stay updated on biopharma startup funding and exit trends through 2020, check out our free startup dashboard for summary info updated on a regular basis.
Then consider joining our mailing list. I periodically publish data-driven articles on the biotech startup and VC world.