For several reasons, including a decline in Chinese investment, overall venture capital investment dropped to US$53 billion in the first quarter, down from US$71 billion the quarter before, according to KPMG.
The KPMG Enterprise Venture Pulse report notes that while U.S. and European investment stayed relatively strong, Chinese VC fell to $5.8 billion in the first quarter, down from $10.1 billion in Q4 2018.
KPMG said so-called “megadeals” (transactions worth at least $100 million) in the region have taken a pause so far this year, after Asia’s impressive run in 2018.
“2018 was characterized largely by even more megadeals than anyone could have expected at the start of the year and, thus, on the whole, remains historic for the region. 2019 however, is much slower at the start,” the report said. “It may be more of a return to historically typical levels.”
Around the world, the largest deals in the first quarter included a $5 billion investment in New York-based The We Company (formerly WeWork) and a $4.5 billion investment in Singapore’s Grab Taxi. The U.S. VC landscape continued strong, with deal value reaching $32.6 billion in the first quarter, the second-highest quarterly total in seven years.
However, deal volume declined globally for the fourth consecutive quarter, KPMG said. The first quarter saw only 2,657 deals, the lowest number in nearly eight years (since Q2 2011) and Europe, especially, felt a drop in deal volume, from 882 in the last quarter of 2018 to 487 in Q1 2019.
“The big question is if we are facing a turning point in the volume of investment, yet to be seen,” Arik Speier, head of technology, KPMG Somekh Chaikin in Israel, said in a statement.
More information can be found in KPMG’s report.