Carta’s Private Market Report: Q1 2021

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Carta’s Private Market Report examines trends across venture-backed companies and security holders in private companies. Carta uses its quarterly data, including the aggregated and anonymized data of more than 19,000 companies—which is representative of over a trillion dollars in post-money valuation and reflects more than 220,000 investors in the startup ecosystem.

In Q1, 2021, venture capital saw a slight dip in total deals, though deal size continued to grow at a rapid rate. Even in early rounds, the combination of high valuations and reduced dilution made for a founder-friendly environment to begin the year. We’ve listed a few of the major highlights below, but the full report gives detailed breakdowns for founders, investors, and startup employees.

Key highlights

  • More money in the biggest deals: 26% of all deals in Q1 were larger than $25 million—the highest-ever percentage for this tier and sharply up from 20% in Q4 2020.
  • General SaaS and Fintech stood out: Most new issuers were in the General SaaS industry, but Fintech saw more cash raised per deal.
  • More employees exercising equity options: Equity options exercised hit new record highs for three months straight, topping 40% in March 2021.


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