Life Sciences Snapshot – A Quarterly Report on Financing Trends – Q4 2021

23 minute read | October.19.2021

VC Investment Surges in European Life Science

In this edition of Orrick and PitchBook’s joint quarterly series on venture investment in the life sciences industry, we highlight key market trends including record-breaking financing activity. As the European life sciences market is growing at unprecedented rates, the report also features a roundtable discussion with key industry leaders in the region.

Key findings include:

Orrick Life Sciences Snapshot Q4 2021
  • With three months to go, this year has already seen a record sum of VC invested in life sciences. 2020 saw $35.7 billion invested across 1,800 transactions; 2021 to date has seen $35.8 billion across 1,510 transactions. As the pace of dealmaking is slowing slightly, it remains to be seen if this year will also see a new record tally of completed financings.
  • The median life sciences deal size increased for all stages of venture but seed, likely attributable to the unique risk profile of life sciences companies at that stage. Every other series has seen substantial increases, with Series B standing out. The median Series B financing size has increased by 51% year over year.
  • Thanks to unprecedented macro drivers as well as record liquidity, investors are pushing valuations to record heights, with the median pre-money late-stage valuation surging to $75.0 million as of Q3 2021, relative to the high of $57.4 million recorded in full-year 2020.
  • Uniquely bullish conditions in public markets have encouraged a record rate of initial public offerings (IPOs), raising $67.7 billion across 182 completed transactions in total. That is a new annual high, with a full quarter in 2021 to go.