Life Sciences Snapshot ‐ A Quarterly Report on Financing Trends ‐ Q3 2020

Venture Surges and the Rise of SPACs


Life Sciences Snapshot Q3 2020

In this edition of Orrick’s series of life sciences publications, the traditional update on broader venture market financing data is included, depicting the macro-level trends of interest. In addition, given their surge in popularity, SPACs and their particular utility to life sciences businesses are the subject of this edition’s spotlight.

Key highlights:

  • Q3 2020 saw $8.3 billion in VC invested, matching Q2’s massive tally—a clear sign the COVID-19 pandemic has served as an accelerant to the life sciences sector.
  • 2020 is likely to exceed the prior record of $25.6 billion in VC invested within life sciences.
  • Late stage deals are getting an increasing portion of the investment pie, as measured both by deals and dollars.
  • Median pre-money valuations are at or near all-time highs—with late stage’s valuations increased to $75.0 million, supported by robust demand and substantial sums of dry powder across the industry on the whole.
  • Several SPACs are focused on life sciences targets, with this approach increasingly seen as an appealing method of going public.