The Strategist

US start-ups attract record investment in 2021

01/07/2022 - 02:59

US startups attracted a record $330bn in investment last year, nearly doubling the 2020 result. But venture capital market participants are already calling the surge unsustainable.

Private equity firms in the United States raised a total of $329.8 billion in venture capital funding last year, nearly doubling the amount raised in 2020, the Financial Times said, citing PitchBook data. Venture capitalists invested $166.6bn in startups in 2020, which was also a record. 

Investors invested about four times as much money in startups in 2021 as they did five years ago, the FT writes. More than half of last year's total came from funding rounds of more than $100m, suggesting investors have shown a willingness to invest large sums in relatively young companies, the FT notes.

Venture capitalists paid big money for stakes in promising software start-ups, although they sometimes had small returns. This was driven by strong demand for business software, e-commerce vendors and other companies that benefited from the pandemic.