Biopharma startup dashboard


This dashboard covers biopharma VC, IPO and M&A trends. Explore more of our data here.


Biopharma venture funding over time



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2021 is the biggest year ever for biopharma VC



Source for 2013-2017 data: Evaluate Ltd. Vantage 2019 Preview

The pace of investment is accelerating



Venture round sizes increasing



Series A sizes have been ticking higher. The majority of Series A deals are now larger than $50M (though most are tranched).

2021 has seen an increase in Series B and C "megarounds": almost half of Series B deals in 2021 have been over $100M, compared to 25% in 2020. A quarter of Series C deals in 2021 have been over $150M, versus 10% in 2020.

Crossovers and hedge funds taking share from traditional VCs



Crossover investors and hedge funds (public equity investors in the charts below) are an increasingly dominant force in the biotech VC space. Private biotech investing has long been dominated by specialist venture funds, but public equity investors are now leading nearly as many deals as specialist biotech VCs. Public equity and crossover investors have long been a force in later-stage private rounds, but in 2020 and 2021 they have become the most active Series B investors.

The Series A market has been more resistant to competition from new entrants. However, in 2021, these Series A VCs have lost share to emerging "tech-bio" investors: funds that originally focused on software and technology that are now investing in biotech. The share of "tech-bio" VCs leading Series A deals is still small (comparable to the share of public equity investors leading Series A rounds), but will likely continue to grow. There are a large number of "tech-bio" funds that have been focused on seed investing who are raising Series A-focused funds. These funds offer better terms to founders and generally close deals more quickly. While founders still prefer the track records and experience of traditional biotech VCs, emerging biotech VCs are building their track records and expertise and will be increasingly competitive in this regard as well.

Lead investors by type, all rounds

Lead investors by type, Series A

Lead investors by type, Series B





Few active lead investors



The most active VCs generally only lead a handful of deals per year. Many of these Series A investors create many of the companies they fund in-house.

Emerging "tech-bio" investors are leading more Series A rounds. These funds focus more on investing in existing companies versus creating companies in-house (although some of them do company creation). However, the pool of tech-bio VCs that lead multiple Series A deals per year is still quite low.

The most active Series A investors in 2021 are non-traditional funds: seven of the fifteen most active lead Series A investors are crossover funds.

Most active lead investors, all stages

Most active lead investors, Series A

Most active lead investors, Series B



Oncology and rare disease declining, neuro and autoimmune rising



Oncology represents about a quarter of venture-funded programs from 2018-2H2021.

While rare disease has historically received the second-most funding after oncology, neuro + neurodegenerative programs now receive more Series A funding than rare disease

These charts represent the therapeutic areas of all companies receiving funding. Many companies have programs in multiple therapeutic areas.




Series A investment trends can inform what kinds of companies will get funded in future rounds

Oncology makes up a lower percentage of Series A-funded programs than rare disease, autoimmune and neuro combined, though oncology is still the single most funded therapeutic area

VC-backed biopharma IPOs continue to break records



Through July, 2021 has eclipsed the total IPO volume in 2020 (which was previously a record year). 2021 is shaping up to have roughly double the amount of VC-backed biopharma IPOs compared to 2020.







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