VC investment in first half holds up. What do the trends tell us?

By Nancy Dahlberg
The pandemic hit the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area hard in the first half, but it could have been worse. Earlier this month we told you about the 2nd quarter numbers, lifted greatly by Magic Leap’s $350 million raise. Of course, the pandemic is taking a bigger and bigger toll, and there is a lot of year left. But today we take a deeper dive into the first half. What do the first half numbers tell us?
How do the numbers compare?  Companies in the tri-county area raised $670.87 million across 75 deals, according to Pitchbook data. That’s down from $1.7 billion across79 deals in the first half of 2019. Both halfs included mega deals – in 2019 it was REEF Technology and in 2020 it was Magic Leap. 1H 2018 was also higher at $1.2B, but it is still the third highest total tracked by Pitchbook for our region. South Florida brought in nearly three-quarters of the statewide total of $915 million in the first half.
Later-stage deals gaining: A trend we began to see last year was later-stage deals rising. So far this year, that has been accelerating, at least by deal count. In 1H 2020, 35% of the deals were later stage (Series B or higher) while 20% were Series As. For the first time, seed and angel deals did not make up more than half of the deals but it was close –  45% were in those categories.
What’s trending? Healthcare-related startups, and the trend is accelerating. Like last year, the broader category including health-tech, biotech, life sciences, and healthcare services was the dominate category, with 30 of the 75 deals in that category, up from 20 deals in the 1st half of 2019 . For health-tech, there were 14 deals, up from 8 at this time last year. Other areas rising up: Fintech accounted for 10 deals, up from 4 in the first half of 2019. A new entry of note: There were 5 prop-tech deals in the first half.
Who’s leading the companies? Men. Of the 56 companies that raised a million or more, only three had female CEOs: Bolt Mobility (Julia Steyn); Aegle Therapeutics (Shelly Hartman); and Carson Life (Sonia Guzman), according to Pitchbook’s data. That’s of course only one indicator — some of the other 53 companies may have a woman co-founder. Still, it’s one to watch. While there has been meager progress thelast couple of years,  Pitchbook reported that nationally, investment in women-led companies trended down in the first half of the year. By the year-end report, I hope to bring you numbers on investment in companies led by people of color, too.   
Here are the top 15 in the first half of 2020, according to Pitchbook:
Magic Leap: $350 million
OrthoSensor: $42.41 million
Encompass Supply: $32.7 million
PredaSar: $25 million
EXUMA Biotech: $19 million
Nymbus: $12 million
DermaSensor: $11.5 million
Honorlock: $11.5 million
Bidtellect: $10.48 million
Fanatiz: $10 million
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Nancy Dahlberg