Biopharma startup dashboard

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

Biopharma venture funding over time


The database is updated several times per month. We periodically publish deep dives on startup valuation, venture returns, funding trends and more on our blog. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.

2020 was the biggest year ever for biopharma venture investing

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

Venture round sizes increasing

Most Series A rounds are between $10-60M, but there is a long tail of "megarounds" of $100M or more. However, many of these deals are tranched, so actual capital deployed is significantly lower than the headline number.

Series B and C rounds have been increasing as well. Series B and C megarounds of $100M or more are increasingly common: 8% of Series B rounds in 2020 were over $150M.

US-based biotech VCs and crossover investors dominate

US-based specialist biotech VCs dominate biotech venture, especially at the Series A stage. Due to 2020's active IPO market, crossover investors (investors who participate in late-stage private rounds as well as IPOs) have become increasingly active.

Generalist tech VCs have increased their investment levels to that of pharma corporate VCs, but they still make up a small amount of overall funding.

In 2018, Chinese investors were the biggest leaders of Series B investments into US biopharma companies. Due to recent trade tensions between the US and China, but in 2019 Chinese investors led nearly zero deals (although they did participate as non-lead investors). More on that here.

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.

These investors are generating outsized returns. Series A investments in companies that IPO return an average of 10.8x, with on average 3.5 years from Series A to IPO. More on returns here.

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 2018-2019 (2020 will be updated soon!).

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

2020 was a record year for VC-backed biopharma IPOs

2020 was a record year for VC-backed biopharma IPOs in terms of proceeds raised and number of deals.

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