Investments in venture-backed companies in Washington state climbed to $735 million in the first half of 2017, up 45 percent from the year before according to the MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and CB Insights. “It was a knockout quarter,” said Chris Seel, technology partner at PWC.
The biggest surge came in the second quarter, when investments climbed to $466 million from $269 million in the first quarter and $301 million in the second quarter of 2016. The investment total from April through June of this year was the highest quarterly total in two years. The number of venture deals climbed to 43 in the second quarter from 36 in the first quarter, although for the first half of the year, deal volumes were down from the year before.
Large late-stage deals contributed to the quarter. They included $52.1 million for collaborative tool developer SmartSheet, $30 million for enterprise storage software provider Qumulo, $30 million for business sales communications company Outreach and $29 million for radar vision company Echodyne.
“One quarter doesn’t make a trend,” says Seel, “but we saw good investments being made across the board. That speaks to the health and confidence you are seeing in the venture community.”
Nationwide, investors poured $18.4 billion into venture-backed companies across 1,152 deals, up 28 percent in dollar terms from the quarter before. There were 31 “mega-rounds” of $100 million or more in the quarter, the largest number since the third quarter of 2015.