Illinois just had its best Q1 in terms of total venture funding since the first quarter of 2000, during the height of the dot-com boom, according to a new MoneyTree report released Wednesday.
In the first quarter of 2018, more than $375 million was invested across 36 deals in Illinois companies. In the first quarters of 2017 and 2016, $188 million and $345 million were invested across 30 and 39 deals, respectively, according to the report, comprised of data from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights.
Some of the top deals in the first quarter of 2018 were VillageMD, a Chicago-based healthcare startup that raised $80 million, and Tempus Labs, a Chicago cancer-fighting startup, which also raised $80 million.
Though 2018’s Q1 funding figure is higher than the first quarters of years dating back to 2000, it still lagged behind the last three quarters of 2017. In Q2 last year, Illinois companies raised $871 million, much of which was attributed to Outcome Health’s $500 million round. However, a few months after Outcome’s funding news, it was reported that the company misled advertisers on the effectiveness of its ads and its investors ended up suing it for fraud.
In Q3 and Q4 of 2017, companies raised $424 million and $423 million, respectively. The data shows that Illinois VC funding will have to increase consistently for the rest of the year to beat 2017’s total funding number, which was about $1.9 billion.
On a national scale, the data showed that VC funding in the first quarter of 2018 increased 4 percent, reaching $21.2 billion. Though there was an increase in funding dollars, deal activity was down 2 percent at about 1,200. The artificial intelligence industry saw its biggest funding quarter ever with deals cumulating to more than $1.8 billion.
“2018 looks to continue the trend of larger deals as we’ve now seen two consecutive quarters with over 30 rounds of $100 million or more–only the second time in recent history that this has happened,” said Tom Ciccolella, PwC’s U.S. venture capital leader, in a statement. “The $21 billion we saw invested this quarter is a record high, just the second time we’ve reached this funding level during the last 15 years.”
Besides Illinois, other cities that saw increases in VC funding include San Francisco, which saw a 23 percent increase in fundings, mainly fueled by eight mega-rounds of $100 million or more, and the Los Angeles-area, which saw a 97 percent jump with $1.9 billion invested across 101 deals.
Nationally, Illinois ranked sixth in deal volume—behind California, New York, Massachusetts, Utah and Colorado—and seventh in total amount raised —behind California, Massachusetts, New York, Utah, Florida and Maryland.
It’s important to note that every venture capital database has a different method for compiling and calculating quarterly figures. The above numbers from CB Insights and PwC’s MoneyTree report will differ from what Pitchbook, the National Venture Capital Association and others have. To stay up to date on Chicago funding in real time, subscribe to our daily newsletter or go here.