The annual venture capital numbers are in. Venture-backed businesses saw almost $75 billion of investment in 2015, including corporate venture investing — the second-largest annual amount in this category. The bigger story, however, is how much the venture market will change this year.
Despite the record investment amount, the national market showed a significant slowdown in new investments in the fourth quarter. Investors are concerned about the state of the macro economy and the less-than-successful performance of a number of tech-related initial public offerings, and some wonder whether the growing number of venture-backed $1 billion “unicorns” will find their way to an exit for their investors.
While later-stage investment trends were adversely affected by broader market concerns, the early and seed stages enjoyed continued momentum. Nationally, seed and early-stage deal sizes increased and deals continued to occur at a solid pace.
The venture capital market now looks to me like a freight train derailment. The locomotive is off the tracks, and the end of train is still hurtling…