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Venture Rounds, IPOs, Mergers Vanish in Election Week

White House

(Jonathan Cutrer, Flickr)

3 Nov. 2020. Nationwide jitters in the U.S. appear to be affecting venture capital activities in the week of the presidential and congressional elections. According to technology investment research newsletter Crunchbase News, scheduled venture funding rounds, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings, or IPOs, for venture-backed enterprises have almost disappeared so far this entire week.

Reporter Joanna Glasner says Crunchbase, the newsletter’s parent company that maintains a comprehensive database of venture capital transactions, received only one venture funding announcement of $1 million or more yesterday. Last Monday, Crunchbase received 11 such announcements.

Glasner says a calendar of scheduled IPOs maintained by Renaissance Capital also shows no activity for this week. Last week, the calendar had 11 entries and five more IPOs in the previous week. Also, today is an Election Day holiday in some states, while many businesses give employees the day off to allow for easier voting, which adds to the quiet.

Previous national election weeks in the past eight years were not this subdued. Crunchbase says two years ago, during the week of mid-term congressional, state, and local elections, venture investors made 129 funding rounds investing $2.65 billion. The week of the 2016 presidential election saw 76 deals completed, raising $707 million, as well as five IPOs. Likewise, during the week of 2012 presidential election, venture investors completed 63 funding rounds, raising $389 million, with six IPOs taking place.

Glasner adds that she and her colleagues usually have plenty of interview opportunities with start-up founders in advance of planned funding rounds, but this week, interview opportunities are few and far between. She says company executives still plan to announce new venture funding, but are waiting for a week when their target audiences can focus on news other than politics.

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